The Healing

In the stunning NSW Southern Highlands, a revolutionary program is restoring hope - for humans and horses alike.

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The Healing introduces us to horseman Scott Brodie, Director of the Thoroughbred and Veteran Welfare Alliance, and his picturesque ‘office’. Nestled amid dramatic gorges and the beautiful natural bushland of New South Wales’ Kangaroo Valley lies Scott’s ranch, Barranca, where he runs his unique program - bringing together traumatised ex-racehorses with former military veterans and first responders, for their mutual rehabilitation.

It’s a pairing with an unexpected similarity. In their relentless quest for a champion, thousands of racehorses are discarded each year by the Australian racing industry, with many suffering trauma and misery. Likewise, after serving their country, thousands of Defence Force personnel retire each year - and, left with a lack of structure and often substantial trauma, many go on to experience mental health issues, homelessness and suicide.

The Healing is a timely film. It provides a gently powerful insight into why, tragically, THIRTY TIMES more Australian military personnel and veterans have died by suicide than have been killed in combat since the year 2000.

Healing Horses

Scott has retrained and rehomed more than 500 ex-racehorses, and helped over 200 ex-military personnel and former first responders readjust to the next chapter of their lives back in “the real world”. The Healing introduces us to four of them, arriving at Barranca to undergo Scott’s five-day rehabilitation program for themselves.

There’s Mel, an ex-Navy Chaplain. Max, a former Federal Policeman. Georgie, who entered the Navy aged just 17. And Sam, an infantry soldier in a former life. They’ve tried hospital programs, traditional therapy and medication, with minimal results. Now, this feels like their final hope.

On the first morning, there’s an air of apprehension from the horses and veterans alike. Gradually, it’s revealed how each group has suffered trauma. Around the comfort of a log fire, Scott explains that the vets will see a lot of parallels between themselves and the horses’ plight (the thoroughbreds are donated by owners and breeders for Scott to retrain).

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