From the Battlefield to the Saddle: Zachary Leyden’s Journey with Horses

From the Battlefield to the Saddle: Zachary Leyden’s Journey with Horses

Military boots for riding boots, I embarked on a journey that reshaped my understanding of the world and myself. The whispers of horses mended my fractured spirit.

Finding Solace in the Saddle

Transitioning from active military service to civilian life brought challenges I hadn’t anticipated. The echoing sounds of war had left their marks, and PTSD was an unseen enemy I battled daily. In the midst of this demobilizing phase, horses galloped back into my life, offering clarity to my wounded soul.

Like us, horses have a world rich with emotions, desires, and motivations. They taught me that to truly connect, I needed to dive deep into their psyche, much as Dale Carnegie advocates for human interactions. Their whinnies and snorts, combined with their expressive body language, became a language I grew to understand and cherish.

A Mission Born from Passion

As I started healing, a vision took root – to extend the same healing touch of horses to my fellow veterans. The trauma of war needed a salve, and horses, with their unconditional love and patience, seemed the perfect therapists. With this mission burning bright, I set up several horse recreational businesses. And a promise, etched in stone, became the foundation: veterans would always ride for free.

Ocean View Stables: A Dream Realized

My journey took another unexpected turn when I stumbled upon a dilapidated horse facility. Where others saw despair, I saw an opportunity. With passion and perseverance, I transformed it into ‘Ocean View Stables’. A quick drive away from the San Francisco zoo, it stands as a sanctuary offering beach trail rides, leadership workshops with horses, team-building clinics, immersive horsemanship lessons, and soon, an authentic cowboy cuisine and ocean-view rooms.


Today, as I gaze over the trails leading to the ocean from Ocean View Stables, I’m reminded of my journey – from the dissonance of battles to the calming whispers of horses. It’s a testament to the transformative power of understanding, compassion, and connection. Horses didn’t just guide me back to peace; they led me to a purpose greater than myself.

About Ocean View Stables

Ocean View Stables is a veteran owned horse recreational and educational facility located minutes from the San Francisco Zoo. OVS has unobstructed views of the ocean with trails to the beach. Come enjoy all that OVS has to offer!

Owned by Zachary Leyden and Tony Kasaris  » …
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