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Airman finds stability at the stables

Airman Laycee Presutti, 21st Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, pets a rescue horse at the Triple S Ranch in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 18, 2020. Prior to joining the Air Force, Presutti spent her free time interacting with horses, so when she arrived at her first duty station, she began volunteering at the ranch. She said the experience helps strengthen her resilience. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

Airman Laycee Presutti, 21st Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, pets a rescue horse at the Triple S Ranch in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 18, 2020. Prior to joining the Air Force, Presutti spent her free time interacting with horses, so when she arrived at her first duty station, she began volunteering at the ranch. She said the experience helps strengthen her resilience. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

Airman Laycee Presutti, 21st Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, feeds a rescue horse at the Triple S Ranch in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 18, 2020. Presutti volunteers to clean stables, feed and water the animals. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

Airman Laycee Presutti, 21st Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, feeds a rescue horse at the Triple S Ranch in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 18, 2020. Presutti volunteers to clean stables, feed and water the animals. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --

Airman Laycee Presutti, 21st Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, strengthens her resilience volunteering with the Safe Landing Horse Rescue at the Triple S Ranch in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

When Presutti first arrived to Colorado in April 2020, she was determined to find an activity that would allow her to spend some time off base, meet new people and interact with animals.

She researched local horse stables and found the Triple S Ranch, where she has volunteered for the past five months.

“Back home, I lived in an area where there were just farms,” Presutti said. “All of my best friends had horses. I didn’t have any myself, but every weekend and every day after work we’d go ride or do something with animals.”

At the ranch, Presutti cleans the stables and ensures the animals have food and water.

“It just gives you a peace of mind, not having to bring work with you,” she said. “Resilience is important to me because it’s all about mindset and overcoming things. Taking a break from work and volunteering with the animals definitely strengthens my resilience.”

The ranch is home to horses, pigs, donkeys and an alpaca. All of the animals are rescues and in the process of being rehabilitated and trained, with the goal of eventually finding a forever home.

Jaquie Schutzenhofher, Triple S Ranch owner, operator, riding instructor and horse trainer, started the ranch about four years ago and experiences the benefits of working with the animals daily.

“Horses have a huge impact on people,” Schutzenhofher said. “There’s a saying, ‘The outside of a horse is good for the inside of the soul,’ and I am one hundred percent all in on that.”

Schutzenhofher said horses have helped her a lot through the years, especially when going through tough times.

“They connect with you on a very personal level that you just can’t get with anything else,” she said. “They’re very gentle-natured, and they almost seem to understand us.”

Aside from rehabilitating the animals, the Triple S Ranch also provides lessons targeted for beginner to intermediate level riders.

“Most people come to take lessons with us for a while and when they’re ready to find a horse, we help them find the best suited horse through the rescue program,” Schutzenhofher said.

Presutti said she knows strengthening resilience is unique for everyone, and while volunteering at the ranch helps her, she encourages others to try and find what will help them.

“There’s so much to do and see in the area, and staying in one place isn’t going to help you,” Presutti said. “You’re going to feel down; you’re going to feel like you don’t have anyone here. Go out and do things. The more things you do, the more people you’ll meet and the better your mindset is going to be.”

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