When Sgt. Matthew Smith returned to his home after serving in active duty in Iraq on 2005, he would soon find out that he had PTSD. This disorder then lead him to have a motorcycle accident which caused him to be in a coma for four months. Doctors said that the veteran would not be able to walk again.
Shelene Smith, the veteran’s mother, then found out about The Wounded Warrior Program wherein they help wounded veterans recover from certain illnesses and disorders. The program offers horse therapy in which the wounded Sergeant was eager to try out.
Occupational therapist Leslie Rutter states that the greatest thing about the therapy is that people are having such a good time that they do not even realize it benefits them in so many areas.
Source: Wounded vet gets help from horse therapy program
Michael Proscia is a war veteran who served in active duty in Iraq. Upon arriving back home, he suffered from physical and mental stress that is more popularly known as PTSD. However, the man is confident in recovering through the help of horses.
Sahika Riley, founder of the Horse Rhythm Foundation and a veteran herself, helps other veterans who suffer from PTSD by helping obstacles to guide patients through horse therapy. The founder aims to bring happiness and freedom to people who have gone to the front lines.
The foundation has already helped hundreds of veterans in giving their life a new normal.
Source: Special horse therapy helping veterans battling PTSD
Granger is a little boy who is living with a growth disorder more popular known as autism. Andrew, a 23-year-old horse, grants this boy a new lease on life.
The horse is part of a therapeutic horse riding program at a Monticello farm. The farm shows people how horses, and other animals, can save lives through an event called Painted Pony Fun Day Sunday. The boy with autism takes part in this occasion and has been seen to have gained much improvement over his disorder.
Young Granger has never looked back since hopping on the back of Andrew and is now preparing for the therapeutic Special Olympics.
Thalia Ochoa, a 22-year old who lives in North Delta and a lifelong horse lover, searches for horses that do not do well in horseracing. These horses are either sold or auctioned off for slaughter. The woman then proceeded to create a rescue agency named Second Chance Horse Rescue.
Within the span of eight months the agency has already saved 25 horses and placed them in their forever homes. Rescuing horses in need would not have been possible if it not for Liz Smith’s help (whom she met through her boyfriend last year). Thalia focuses on fundraising and promotion whereas Liz helps with the horses in getting them ready for adoption.
The agency is continuously holding fundraisers to save and take care of horses until they can find their forever home.
Source: A Second Chance for forgotten horses
A group of rescue advocates in North Dakota and Minnesota are fighting for racehorses to have a second chance in life. These horses, after they have served their purpose, await being slaughtered at a “kill pen.” Jessie Monson, one of the rescue advocates, drop by auctions hoping not to stumble upon anything, but this time she is thankful that she did.
The rescue advocate has recognized a horse she was with three years ago at an auction. After posting a Facebook ad about it, twins Callie and Cade Craddock rallied with other rescue advocates to get the horse out of its sad fate. The group gathered enough money to buy the mare, and three other horses on the spot. After witnessing the horses’ cruel fate first hand, they have gathered even more donations to buy a fifth one.
The saved horses will be cared for by the North Dakota group Bowman Second Chance Thoroughbred Adoption and Minnesota Retired Racehorse Rescue until they are ready for a new home.
Horse therapy can be beneficial for disabled kids. Saddle Safari Discovery Trail is a part of an equine riding facility where special children can develop their physical and mental abilities.
Autism, cancer and Down syndrome are examples of conditions that riding therapy can assist. The program offered at the riding center also includes sound therapy. Participants are also able to socialize with horses and the trainers. This can be a great way to boost the rider’s confidence levels.
A parent of one of the participants mentioned that he has seen his son progress in his ability to cope with his condition.
Hippotherapy is a form of equine treatment that uses the natural movements of a horse. Children with muscle development or speech problems may find it to be very advantageous, reports Kimberly Marselas of Reading Eagle.
Pony Talk Speech Therapy is an organization that provides kids with the opportunity to participate in hippotherapy. Rachel Gerhart, a horse lover and trainer, has seen disabled kids improve after a series of sessions. The woman now runs her own equine facility, where she holds several horses with unique personalities.
Joe Joe Geloso, a child with Down syndrome, has hit a handful of milestones when it comes to his speech. Since taking part in riding sessions, the boy is able to grasp the use of words in a more intelligent manner. Many kids do not see hippotherapy as a form of treatment due to the fun and excitement that the program entails.
Source: Exeter company uses horses to provide speech therapy services to children
Troubadour, a foal, wins awards at horse shows in his category. Prior to his life of fame, the young equine came from humble beginnings.
Fiona, the foal’s mother, was rescued from a slaughter house days before being put down when she was pregnant. Maat Van Uitert, the horse’s new handler, was able to take her to a new facility where she gave birth to a healthy newborn.
The owner noticed how the young equine’s personality was very captivating and contagious. She decided to enter him in competitions where he won trophies, awards and the hearts of the judges and spectators.
Horse therapy can help children with disabilities develop their motor skills. Lillian Knutson, a 7-year-old girl with Rett syndrome, has made notable improvements in strength and coordination, reports Eric Hagen of ABC Newspapers.
Stable Pathways is the organization that provides Bunker Park Stable, an equine therapy facility, with the resources it needs to operate. The program has grown exponentially over the years, and now services over 40 participants.
Hippotherapy, or equine assisted-riding, is a type of program that deals with various elements related to speech, physicality and occupation. It is being offered at the facility, where participants can help increase movements in ways that clinical therapy sessions can’t achieve. The horses in the Bunker Park Stable each have their own set of skills that can cater to different types of medical conditions.
Patti Franz, the program director, stated that the horses also provide emotional support. Lillian has hit several milestones in her recovery, as she is now able to support herself without the help of a pillow while riding and can initiate commands to the horse.
Source: Horse therapy program helps those with special needs
Stephanie Wilson is owner of a facility that provides equine therapy for children with physical and mental disabilities. Bit By Bit Equine Therapy essentially requires donations to maintain its operations, reports Therese Apen of Rankin Ledger.
Horses are sensitive creatures that communicate well with humans. Because of this, kids respond to them well. Cerebral palsy and autism are examples of conditions that equine therapy supports.
A horse’s movements during a session can stimulate parts of a child’s body that are not well developed. Participants have reported a boost in motor skills and coordination after several therapy riding lessons.
An active participant, Cheyenne Pyron, has built her self-esteem and confidence through the help of equine therapy. For kids who are scared of large animals, it is recommended they start interacting with miniature horses first.
Stephanie mentioned that some of the horses in the facility came from a rescue center. The woman stopped charging her clients for therapy sessions when she saw that the parents already had enough expenses to deal with due to their child’s medical condition.
Source: Equine Therapy: Bit By Bit in Brandon helps with special needs