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Horses helping people: A Different Kind of Bridal Therapy

Sabrina McCoy feeds carrots to Mr. Cool, a thoroughbred she rides for therapy.Sabrina McCoy is looking forward to walking down the aisle Aug. 16 and marrying her sweetheart, Tyler Farella. Her stroll may take a bit longer than most brides, but each step is a victory in its own right.

Sabrina suffered a traumatic brain injury, broke her back and fractured her jaw in a July 2011 boating accident on Green Mountain Reservoir in Kremmling, Colorado.

In a coma for two months, the now-31-year-old did not remember her fiancé, was in a wheelchair for two years and had to learn to walk again.

The pair moved to San Antonio last year when Farella, 33, took a job with Zachry Corp. in San Antonio — a move that eventually brought McCoy to the Saddle Light Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship in Selma — a discovery she said “basically saved my life.”

Kerstin Fosdick, executive director of The Saddle Light Center, has been with the center since 1992, one year after the organization was started. She is a licensed physical therapist and expresses a personal interest in many of the disabled, challenged and injured people who come to the center seeking help.

Fosdick provides hippotherapy, a word derived from the Greek word hippos, or “horse.” Hippotherapy, although around for centuries, has only been a formalized discipline and method of treatment since the 1960s.

Fosdick explained that a horse's hip rotation is similar to a human's movement. The horse's constant, steady gait forces the rider to correct balance, move in rhythm and work in unison with the animal.

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