Heroes and Horses

Reimagining Trauma Through Outdoor Immersion and 360 Degrees of Healing

Heroes and Horses is an immersive program for veterans based in Montana, created by founder Micah Finke after he returned from the Navy and experienced firsthand the struggles that many veterans face when transitioning back into civilian life. 

Finke's personal journey inspired him to dig deeper into the staggering statistics showing that the money going into veteran services, while robust, is not always complemented by programs that successfully help veterans overcome their struggles in the long term.

To help address this problem, in 2014, he started Heroes and Horses in the hopes of creating a more effective approach to helping veterans reimagine their futures—to "un-program the programmed." The goal of the experience is to reframe trauma and hardship with a new perspective—that struggle can be a tool for finding one's purpose and meaning. 

“The reality is when you come home from the military, you feel out of place,” says Finke. “The programming that has been on repeat in your head for years does not work in the civilian world. This is where Heroes and Horses steps in.”

The experience is challenging and demanding both physically and mentally. The 41-day program takes place in a ranching and outdoor setting, where participants are intentionally paired with an equine partner and taught to shoe, rope, and ranch, and culminates with participants putting their new skills to the test on an 11-day pack trip. 

The program focuses on holistic healing—engaging the whole individual by deep diving into the mental, emotional, and physical, and helping participants look inward rather than outward to "redefine their purpose, re-discover their inner strength, and maximize their potential by taking ownership of their lives."

"The programming that has been on repeat in your head for years does not work in the civilian world. This is where Heroes and Horses steps in.”

During their time on the 3,500-acre ranch, veterans partake in a daily routine including mobility work, meditation and breathwork, and facilitated discussion groups in the evenings where participants challenge themselves mentally and emotionally to complement the hard physical work they do during the day. 

“Today the 41- day process at HH is the longest and most comprehensive program in North America for veterans,” says Finke. “It’s where experiences become vehicles that lead us to the truth of who we are. Obstacles are opportunities, and the realization that you are living your own creation and building your own prison is impossible to ignore. What if we could let ourselves out of that jail, crossing the threshold to redefine the relationship between challenge and purpose. By changing ourselves we change the world and that happens on the back of a horse here in Montana.”

As an organization by veterans and for veterans, Heroes and Horses resonates with Anthem Snacks because of its inspiring purpose and its ruggedly healing setting here in our home state of Montana. To raise awareness and support for Heroes and Horses, Anthem is auctioning off a custom painting of a bison, representing the organization's connection to Montana and its life-giving landscapes. 

Anthem Snacks commissioned Western Artist Bria to paint a one-of-a-kind 48”x60” painting that was auctioned off at the League of Legends event on August 05, 2022. Anthem matched the winning bid of $4,500, and a total of $9,000 was donated to Heroes and Horses for their continued support and effort to the veteran community.