First Responders undergo intense training throughout their career to achieve maximum efficiency in protecting and serving their communities. In order to maintain this level of efficiency, it is crucial that the same emphasis and efforts are put into wellness and resiliency training.  In debriefs and therapy, I have heard countless times that the first responder would rather deal with the incident itself than the aftermath because “no one trains you for this part.” Without this type of training, there are multiple consequences, including negative assumptions about self and your abilities to do the job, unhealthy coping skills, displacement of frustrations onto loved ones, medical issues, burnout, and more.  With a better understanding of the psychological and physiological impact of the job, the first responder can utilize evidence-based tools to be equipped in effective management so that relationships, quality of life, and overall functioning can thrive. 


With family ties to first responders, including my father and brother, I have a deep respect and appreciation for the countless sacrifices that are made in this line of work. I truly believe that a quality life does not have be one of those sacrifices. Reach out today to learn more about how I can support you, your family, and your department. 


Serving Those Who Serve Us


An Equine Assisted

Wellness and Resiliency Program

Dedicated to First Responders 

and Their Families

Just like first responders, horses have survival tactics. As prey animals, these tactics include an awareness and sensitivity to the arousal state of those around them. So if the first responder is in any way dysregulated in the moment, the horse will experience it. This manifestation of  self in the horse, a form of rapid biofeedback, calls for immediate awareness.  Recognizing these signs can assist the first responder to practice physiological and emotional regulation back to a more healthy state. The more this awareness is experienced and practiced with the horse, the more likely the first responder will be able to recognize these patterns and implement tools in other areas of his/her life.


The first responder’s ability to achieve maximum efficiency with minimal conscious effort while on shift has a great deal to do with the repetition of certain movements and skills; also known as muscle memory. The effectiveness of this approach also holds true for off-duty skills, including communication skills, emotional awareness, regulating impulses and angry outbursts, scheduling family time, and maintaining a more healthy lifestyle. Practicing these skills is crucial to achieve quality.


The OurWatch team consists of horses, equus coaches and myself.  We  strongly believe that learning is achieved by doing. Come out to the ranch today for a hands-on experience that allows for the awareness necessary for healthy changes. 


Trainings are encouraged for both first responders and their spouses/loved ones so that, together, they can learn and work towards healthy patterns.  
Contact us to learn more about various offered trainings. 

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F1RST - First Responder Stress & Trauma

Heather Twedell, PsyD