This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
T is therapy horse is calmly doing her job


though overwhelmed with confusing signals. In almost every therapy session the horse will receive signals from the leader asking her to walk, the rider may lose balance


and tug on the reins, the sidewalkers may bump into her and the therapist will be talking and encouraging the rider. T e


therapy horse must sort through all the confusion and concentrate on their job.


It has oſt en been said that throughout his- tory, everywhere man has gone he has been carried upon the back of a noble horse. T ey’ve plowed our fi elds, carried us into wars and died with us on the bat lefi eld, pulled our wagons and travois laden with treasured possessions to new lands and pulled our wedding car- riages, too. T ey’ve run our races, herded our cat le, given explosive demonstrations of their power and agility in rodeos. T ey’ve strut ed their magnifi cence in arenas before cheering crowds to win ribbons unimportant to them. When I think of the horse’s spirit and how he has selfl essly carried the spirit of man through the ages, I’m awed at their ut er nobility. How they have answered every call with strength, beauty and unquestioning devotion, no mat er the


A lot goes on around a therapy horse every day, and the horse must be mindful of his rider, leader, sidewalkers and therapist. T is can take a toll on their mind as well as the body, and the therapy for therapy horses exercises are designed to keep their body in top shape as well as their mind clear and focused. T ese photos, from Sprouse’s Corner Ranch at their Heartland Horse Heroes therapeutic riding program, show that therapy horses, even in perfectly man- aged conditions, oſt en need a lit le therapy, too. As owner LaRue Dowd said, “T ey need debriefi ng from all the stuff in their heads.” Photos courtesy Heartland Horse Heroes.


sacrifi ce. Today, the noble horse is embark- ing on perhaps his most important call- ing—the healing of man.


It was Hippocrates who first wrote about the health benefits of horseback riding some 3,000 years ago. We all know of Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “T ere is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Perhaps the most stunning and inspiring event to shake up the world of physical therapy was Liz Hartel of Denmark winning the Silver Medal in dressage at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland in 1952. Though polio had leſt her paralyzed from the knees down and with limited use of her hands in 1944, together with the help of her horse Jubilee, she bat led back to not only take the Silver but also to be the fi rst woman in history to win a medal in the equestrian games. It is said that her remark- able accomplishment on the world stage sparked the idea of equine- assisted therapy.


continued next page WWW.TRAILBLAZERMAGAZINE.US • November 2012 | 73


“When I think of the horse’s spirit and how he has selflessly carried the spirit of man through the ages, I’m awed at their utter nobility. How they have answered every call with strength, beauty and unquestioning devotion, no matter the sacrifice. Today, the noble horse is embarking on perhaps his most important calling—the healing of man.”


Standing work can be hard on a horse’s backs and legs and takes a lot of concentration as the horse may be prevented from taking a step to regain balance. Asking this horse to rock back off his forehand as the therapy is being done would be a simple move that would benefi t the horse.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50