About Us


What We're About

At horses for heroes we are all about giving back to those who have sacrificed so much for us.  We believe in restorative therapy through riding horses, and horsemanship sessions. Our heroes sacrifice so much each day for our freedom, this program truly helps them heal.

Our Story

Our founder Chazz Russell is a former specialist who served during operation Iraqi freedom. During his time overseas he suffered a traumatic brain injury, as well as the everlasting PTSD.  After his work within his own business Russell Equine Services, Chazz began to see how much good this was doing for him, and wanted to extend this privilege to other vets as well. Thus Horses for Heroes Iowa was born.


We pledge to our community, our sponsors, our program participants and their families, our volunteers and the remarkable horses that make it all possible:

  • Safety
  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Excellence
  • Honesty

Other therapeutic opportunities during retreats include: Kayaking, Canoeing, Operating ATVs, Fishing, Hiking, Enjoying Campfires and many more.

For those wishing to build upon their retreat experience with continued equine therapy, there are additional opportunities through Russell Equine Services.


Why Horses?

For many veterans, the ability to remain relaxed and make connections with other people is often more difficult than for most of the general public.  This is because many suffer from PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

During military service, veterans had to be acutely aware of their surroundings at all times. This was because of the perilous conditions they faced each day.

For many veterans, this hyper-vigilant state does not subside after serving and making connections with civilians is challenging often resulting in a sense of isolation even after returning home to friends and family.

Equine therapy has proven effective with veterans for both physical and emotional rehabilitation. Working with horses can be very beneficial for those who suffer from PTSD and brain injuries. A recent study shows PTSD scores dropped 87% after just six weeks of therapeutic horsemanship sessions.

At Horses for Heroes Iowa our goal is to help our heroes heal by experiencing the horse- human bond and its healing ability to promote building trust and improving relationships.