Horses for Heroes: How Horses Help Wounded Warriors

Posted by Paige Cerulli

Therapeutic horseback riding continues to grow in popularity, and now there's even a program designed so that horses can help wounded warriors.

Maryland Therapeutic Riding was founded in 1996 and has been providing therapeutic riding ever since. Therapeutic riding facilities have cropped up all over the country, and chances are you've read an article about the many benefits of therapeutic riding. Therapeutic riding can help people to deal with emotional, physical, and developmental issues. But now even wounded warriors can benefit from therapeutic riding.

Maryland Therapeutic Riding offers a special program designed to help wounded warriors and injured community service personnel, and their families. The video below features two riders who have benefited from the services provided by Maryland Therapeutic Riding. The veteran in this video suffered serious injuries from battle, in addition to the mental and emotional toll that war takes. Check out this inspiring video.

There are many ways that therapeutic riding can help wounded warriors who have returned to the United States. Riding a horse is an excellent way to regain motor skills that may have been compromised because of an injury. Riding also helps to build and strengthen muscles and to improve balance. All of these factors are essential to functioning independently, and therapeutic riding can help a warrior regain and build these skills.

But riding plays another important role. For warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other emotional distress caused by war, horses can serve as reassuring and trusting partners. In working with a horse, a rider learns to trust the animal, which is something that a soldier may have a difficult time doing, initially. Horses also teach riders to trust themselves, act as leaders, and control their own emotions.

Many people can benefit from therapeutic riding. If you'd like to help, many therapeutic riding facilities depend on volunteers. Consider volunteering at a facility near you.

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Horses for Heroes: How Horses Help Wounded Warriors