This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
14th Anniv
ving the T
se Industr
Volume Fourteen - Issue One
September 2009
horses for heroes
By Ingrid Edisen
In Georgetown, help as side walkers and horse
with the First Horse Cavalry
veterans, said sometimes the
Texas, they’re transforming handlers and they are invaluable
Detachment from Ft. Hood,
soldiers start with hippotherapy
injured vets by therapeutic for listening and socializing
helped with the pilot study and
and then move into therapeutic
horseback riding at the Ride with the younger men and
is still instrumental to the pro-
On Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.) women who have just returned
gram today. He deals with the
Scott explained that
facility that was originally from Iraq or Afghanistan.
Warriors in Transition group
with veterans, they are seeking
devised, as a setting to help Professional therapists
from Ft. Hood. As in all good
to regain what they had lost due
special needs children. Now (occupational, physical, speech,
therapy, he noted, empowerment
to war trauma. This contrasts to a
the operation has branched etc.) and NAHRA certified in-
and regaining independence
special needs child or adult client
out and uses its horses and structors are also employed in the
are positives gleaned from the
whose brain may have never had
staff for other programs as program. NAHRA (North Amer-
program. Scott spent 21 years in
a chance to formulate some skills
well. The Horses for Heroes ican Riding for the Handicap
the Army and retired in ‘06. He
and mind-body connections in the
program grew from a need to Association) accredits R.O.C.K.
finds that his current involve-
first place, he said. So far, the
assist soldiers who suffered and maintains standards and
ment in the Heroes program is
program has helped two soldiers
physical or emotional damage training for folks working in this
his way of giving back. Military
who suffered from strokes. Scott
due to injuries from seeing area of horseback therapy.
personnel have almost a culture
described how one soldier had
action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under the tutelage
of their own, he explained. “The
largely lost the use of his right
Originally, a pilot study was of founder Nancy O’Meara
part of the population involved
side. He rode for months in the
done in 2005 designed to help Krenek, R.O.C.K.’s physical
in military life is approximately
program and one day in a simu-
soldiers from the Brook Army plant has grown to now offer
one percent.”
lated trail riding exercise during
Medical Center. Now, there are a large spacious covered arena which the client was mounted in
similar programs ongoing in the and its horses live in spacious
What it Does
an eight-foot “box” (a marked
U.S. today. airy stalls when they aren’t on
Usually, Joan Schro-
out area in the arena sand) and
The goal of Herses duty giving lessons to their hu-
eder, R.O.C.K. instructor, said
told to turn his horse, suddenly,
for Heroes is to improve the man charges. The horse staff
there are anywhere from three to
the man’s right arm remembered
lives of service men and women is usually used for two to three
five participants in the arena.
how to move and the client eas-
At R.O.C.K. safety is of Baylor University using the
who have suffered an injury lessons a day. These are patient,
“It is an interesting
ily turned his horse. Needless
paramount so every rider sports Heroes participants. “We collect
in the line of duty, helping working animals--some donated,
group of folks,” she said.
to say, such a breakthrough was
a helmet at all times. There is the data for her,” Stephanie ex-
them to adjust physically and some purchased. At any given
Technically, R.O.C.K.
exciting. Another war injury and
no need for rushing here. The plained, “then she analyzes it for
emotionally to their post war time, there are approximately
has room for a maximum of six in
stroke sufferer, Mike Nadeau
focus is on recovery, not fast- a study that has shown positive
lives. twenty horses on the grounds.
the indoor and six more veterans
who often rides the mount Topper
forwarding. improvements to date.”
Soldiers are referred R.O.C.K. has also built the He-
on the outdoor trail. Veterans
and headlines in various rodeo
“It’s an open-ended “Soldiers with PTSD
to R.O.C.K. by a physician roes Trail on a one-acre pasture
and their teams work together
parades for R.O.C.K. and the
time frame,” Stephanie stated. often don’t trust,” Scott said.
referral, with any injury by the arena. The Heroes Trail
in a group lesson. Sessions last
Heroes program, has recovered
With some soldiers participat- “They have to learn how to love
including but not limited to: was built to honor all veterans as
usually 1.5 to 2 hours. For now,
more mastery in his speech and
ing each week for 45 weeks of their wives and kids again. This
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder a living memorial to their heroic
she said, it is open enrollment. It
physical strength. The type of
the year. program is an outreach. The
(PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury service in the military. The trail
runs the gamut, she explained--
therapy involved with horseback
horses give the opportunity.”
(TBI), amputation, burns or is designed to provide therapeu-
some fellows are up to cantering
riding combines so many aspects
The Pipeline and Beyond
neurological impairment. The tic riding opportunities outside
whereas others must do walking
all at once that it makes it virtu-
Stephanie observed To find out more about
current or former military with some gentle slopes, turns,
drills due to back injuries. The
ally an organic way to help the
that injured vets come to them R.O.C.K. and the Horses for He-
personnel must also be and other trail situations that
movement of the horse simulates
veterans recover.
often by way of counselors or roes call (512) 930-7625; or visit
evaluated prior to participation provide therapeutic opportunities
a human walking so for an ampu-
The veterans who vol-
doctors who know about the their website at www.rockride.
by a R.O.C.K. physical therapist for riders. Most of the riding
tee, the horse facilitates muscle
unteer as side walkers and horse
Heroes program. Currently there org. Visitors are welcome by
to assure that the equine assisted clients are finding their balance
memory for walking.
handlers to help with the Heroes
is a Quality of Life study being appointment.
therapy will be beneficial to and confidence again. Horses
Many veterans suffer
program give specifically tailored
conducted by Dr. Beth Lanning
their particular injury. for Heroes and R.O.C.K.’s other
from Post Traumatic Stress Dis-
empathy and guidance.
of the Social Work Department
Volunteers for Horses programs all emphasize safety
order (PTSD), Joan explained.
for Heroes are also veterans who first, of course. The focus is
Often this involves them exhibit-
have served in other wars. Many on improvement but there is no
ing a strong aversion to change
are Vietnam Veterans and there pressure put on the clients--just
of any sort.
is also a veteran of World War II encouragement and support.
At first, Heidi
and the Korean War. Volunteers Scott Sjule, a veteran
Derning, one of the NAHRA
and long time soldier himself
instructors who works with the
Devon Fegler - Miss Rodeo Texas 2009
Devin Felger, a New
Braunfels native, was crowned
Miss Rodeo Texas 2009 on
June 26
in San Antonio. Devin
entered the pageant as Miss
Rodeo Austin Princess and
won awards in Horsemanship,
Personality, Speech, and Photo-
genic. For her accomplishment,
she will receive a $20,000
scholarship, trophy saddle,
trophy buckle and many ad-
ditional prizes.
Devin, a sophomore
at Texas A&M University
majoring in Agriculture Lead-
ership, was an attendee of the
National Block and Bridle
Convention, a member of the
College of Ag Freshmen Stu-
dent Council and played Intra-
mural Football. She is also an
active member of the Children
of the Republic of Texas, and
previously the area VII FFA
President, 4-H President and
a state qualifier in Business
deos and rodeo associations to
Professionals of America.
and Miss Rodeo Texas Princess
keep our western heritage and
A Texas tradition of
Pageants are scholarship pag-
the western industry alive and
almost five decades, the se-
eants open to young women
flourishing in today’s society.
lection of Miss Rodeo Texas
ages 19-24, 14-18, and 9-13
During her reign,
is based on horsemanship,
(respectively) who are inter-
Miss Rodeo Texas will travel
appearance and personality
ested in rodeo and our Texas
all over the state encouraging
competition with other finalists
Texas youth to remember the
from across that great state of
For more informa-
impact that our rich western
Texas. Since the inception of
tion visit www.MissRodeoTex-
heritage has had on the de-
the Miss Rodeo Texas Pageant, To book Miss Rodeo
velopment of our state and to
Miss Rodeo Texas has served
Texas call Marjorie Murphy,
educate everyone about the
as a vibrant, colorful Goodwill
Texas State Director at 210-
contributions of Texas agricul-
Ambassador of Rodeo, the Of-
349-5935 or 210-860-8880
ture in our everyday lives.
ficial Sport of Texas, working
(cell) or Linda Ebest, Assistant
The Miss Rodeo
closely with professional ro-
State Director at 830-303-5553
Texas, Miss Rodeo Texas Teen,
or 210-387-2439 (cell).
exas 78240 T Antonio, San TX ONIO, ANT SAN
AID P 6395 Mondean Street
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