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Horses and Human Health: Equine Therapy Opens Doors

Horses and Human HealthEight years ago, after a car accident during a spring break trip while in college, doctors told Terri Pruitt's mother to prepare for the worst.

"When it all first happened," Karen Evans said, "they told me she wasn't going to live. There was nothing I could do. I needed to make preparations."

This weekend, the 29-year-old Pruitt will be one of about 160 athletes competing in Special Olympics Texas equestrian events at the Brazos County Expo.

Evans credits Pruitt's horse therapy for giving her daughter a new life.

Pruitt, who lives in Plantersville, spent nearly a year in rehab and surprised her therapists with her progress, Evans said. But doctors still weren't hopeful.

"They prepared me for her not to do anything. Not to walk, eat or do anything on her own," Evans said.

After she returned home from rehab, Evans said, Pruitt wasn't showing any emotion, wasn't communicating and her balance was off, so about five years ago, she decided to try a horse therapy program in Magnolia called Joy Ride.

"The doctors all said, 'Wait, wait, wait. Don't put her on a horse'," Evans said. "But she smiled all the time, so I knew I was doing something right, so I kept her going."

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