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Horses helping people: equine therapy for veterans with PTSD

Equine therapy and the military

New and effective ways of treating veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are a priority for governmental and civilian agencies across the country. Medications and traditional talk therapies are effective and have dramatically changed the lives of countless veterans. For some, however, these treatments don't work. And in the case of medication, the side effects often outweigh the benefits.

Equine therapy, also commonly referred to as equine-assisted therapy, uses horses to promote psychological, occupational, physical and spiritual healing in individuals suffering from a variety of emotional and physical ailments. Its use with service members and veterans suffering from PTSD is gaining momentum.

Experts in equine therapy believe that the many shared traits between horses and humans promote open, trusting and nonthreatening physical and emotional connections between both groups. These connections breed safety, patience and loving feelings, all which are critical to recovering from post-traumatic stress.

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