In the News: Therapeutic Riding Helps Amputees

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Therapeutic Riding Helps Amputees

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Horseback riding therapy is helping injured soldiers and other individuals who have lost limbs redevelop motor skills. Horses from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard, are being used to help amputees regain natural hip movement. Horses and human beings use the same circular movement in their hips, and riding on the back of a horse can help those who are injured learn how to balance and move their joints and muscles again, especially after the trauma of an amputation. The rider's body is moved as the horse walks, and that movement stimulates nerves in the body to recognize familiar motions. The resulting overall improvement was measured when injured soldiers were tested on different daily tasks, including getting up from a chair. Within a few weeks, one individual, who had done therapeutic riding three times, was able to improve the time it took him to rise from a chair and sit back down from a starting time of 20 seconds down to 13 seconds ("Horses Help Wounded Soldiers Walk Again," Associated Press, June 3). God's creation is incredible in its complexity, and one of the most amazing aspects is the nature of human interaction with animals. Many people have had a treasured pet, and for those who are ill, animals can be a great comfort. Therapeutic horseback riding is a clear example of the built-in benefits God created for man when He populated the earth with animal life.