By Rosalie Triolo
August 11, 2021
A man, a horse, a dog, and a commitment. Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Scott Retired US Army Reserve, and Infantry Officer, is the founder of the “Horses Over America” program. While serving in the US Army he was assigned to command one of its three horse units of 20 horses, 10 of which were Lipizzaner.
Lt. Col. Scott describes his horse, Hercules, a 17.3 hand Friesian, as “100% Dutch, stunningly calm, sweet and stable.” Hercules was 7 years old when Scot brought him from the state of Georgia to his home in Saco, Maine. Retired from the Army for 28 years, he has owned seven horses of different breeds. He has had the honor of riding in a military exchange program with the Queen’s Household Cavalry and has ridden in burial ceremonies for America’s Fallen Heroes at the National Cemetery.
Aware of the increasing daily effects of hopelessness and helplessness on many members of our society, both the young and the old, especially during the recent pandemic, the increase in senseless shootings, suicides, drug overdoses, and for some the total feeling of loneliness, Scott believes horses are a therapeutic animal who can be and are effective in making a difference in people’s lives. He calls it “horse therapy.” With his horse, Hercules, and Molly, his Yellow Lab, Scott has visited nursing homes, veterans’ homes, hospitals, cancer treatment centers, schools in towns from Maine to New Hampshire and Vermont and has seen the growing need for mental health services. He doesn’t want people to think of him as someone “just riding a horse down a Main Street in their town with his dog running alongside. He wants people to see a man, a horse and a dog riding in harmony.”