Potomac Wounded Warrior J.D. Hartley credits a horse for changing his life. “I was scared at first, but I haven’t had a nightmare since I met Peanut, my horse.
“What a difference it has made in the Wounded Warrior’s lives to be around horses. The spirit of being around an animal is incredible,” Col. John Mayer said.
To view the trailer of the film, “The Best Thing For the Inside of a Marine Is the Outside of a Horse,” go to www.eventingnation.com/hom/wounded-warriorproject.html or to contact Waters, go to www.elgatorojoproductions.com.
These are just two of the real-life stars of Potomac filmmaker Thomas R. Waters’ documentary “The Best Thing For the Inside of a Marine Is the Outside of a Horse,” a film that records how a week’s participation in the Jinx McCain Wounded Warrior Horsemanship Program builds self- confidence, relieves emotional pain and helps Wounded Warriors feel more positively in their outlook for their futures.
Waters describes his latest project with enthusiasm: “This documentary has given me a profound respect for these men and women who have severe injuries — PTSD, amputations, brain injuries — yet are determined to rebuild their lives. … It takes a bravery beyond imagination to face life after sustaining some of the injuries these men and women do. Having horses as a way to help these soldiers heal both physically and mentally is a fantastic rehab tool.”
Waters moved to the Potomac area 18 years ago from Los Angeles, wanting to pursue his life-long love of horses and eventing. “But after 25 years of training horses, I have come back to my roots as an actor/producer,” said Waters. He has acted in a number of films and television shows, including “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Effigy,” “Forever,” “Night Falls Fast,” “Tales of the Frontier,” “My Dirty Little Secret” and others. He was formerly associated with the Hidden Hills Playhouse and with Neon Art Productions where he produced and co-produced several stage plays including the critically acclaimed “Working.” His new production company is called El Gato Rojo Productions.
The documentary will be aired on ConvergTV as soon as it’s completed. However, in order to finish film, El Gato Rojo Productions needs to raise funds to complete the editing process. A fundraising event was held on Sept. 18 to view the trailer and to explain why donations are critically needed.
“We are also hoping for donations to Semper Fi, the Marine organization that administers the Wounded Warriors Horsemanship Program, said Waters. “They do not receive funding from the government, but must run these meaningful programs from donations. I hope Potomac residents will understand how worthwhile these programs are for the healing of the wounded veterans.”
Waters is also scheduled to shoot several episodes of the television program, “Paranormal Experience.”
“We are filming in a home in Poolesville, one outside of Poolesville, another in Middleburg — and the Olney House Restaurant. All have a history of ghosts and paranormal activity.” In the show, host Waters and paranormal experts Sandra Dunphy and Debbie Perkins share revelations and visions without prior knowledge of the history or occupants of the homes. Waters said, “Perkins is known for her ability to vividly visualize past events accurately in great detail. Afterward, these happenings are researched and confirmed. Dunphy is known for making contact with the spirits of children. During the episode, Perkins and Dunphy compare findings and the strongest evidences of spirit activity. I hope that everyone will join me in the next few episodes, entitled “Horse Country Hauntings.”