Roamy here. My husband and two kids enjoy horseback riding. I do, too, it’s just that I don’t indulge as much due to allergies and the feeling, as Dave Barry once wrote, that they are very large animals with unnecessarily hard feet.
There are a lot of benefits to riding a horse, not just the physical demands of muscle, balance, and coordination, but also building up communication skills and self-confidence. Horses for therapy is not a new idea, but it is spreading to a wider audience as a help for disabled patients, autistic children, and now, soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Blackfive tips us to the Operation Silver Spurs and the following Fox interview. The horses and human volunteers of the Caisson Platoon of the Old Guard provide equine-assisted therapy for the Wounded Warriors in treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
At a rider’s side, members of the Old Guard. These are the same horses that pull the caisson at Arlington National Cemetery.
“If these horses weren’t out here carrying their wounded comrades on their backs, they’d be pulling the caisson carrying one of their fallen comrades to their final resting place,” says Larry Pence, a retired Command Sgt. Major in the Army.
The program’s been in place since 2006 and so far they’ve had about 125 wounded warriors out riding.
Glad our four-legged friends and these great volunteers can help with recovery and healing.