PTSD, Veterans and Equine Therapy

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Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states ...Read More

According to a recent article that appeared in a local newspaper horses provide similar kinds of benefits for veterans. This type of therapy is called Physical Therapeutic Horseback Riding. It brings together horses with those with disabilities, MS, Downs Syndrome, returning Veterans with PTSD and TBI (Traumatic Bran Injury), among many other disabilities.

The article states that learning to control both the horse as well as one’s own body, inspires self-confidence, responsibility and teamwork. Best of all, it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, that creates a special relationship between rider and horse and promotes taking on personal challenges.


In addition to learning how to ride, clients groom their horses and learn how to use all of the equipment necessary for riding.

Riders learn balance and coordination while achieving self-assurance, muscle stimulation, improved posture, strength and flexibility.

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In addition to the increased self esteem and confidence, veterans, when they are ready, take part in demonstrating riding skills in horse shows. In fact, the entire experience helps these veterans to overcome the tendency to self isolate.

If you are a returning veteran and are interested in Physical Therapeutic Horseback Riding contact:

Lorren Gardner, Program Director (he is ,male and was a fighter pilot) telephone:(941) 979-7428.

While Gardner’s program is located, he can probably direct you to programs near where you live or, do an Internet search under the title of Physical Therapeutic Horseback Riding in order to find similar programs.

Your comments and questions are encouraged.

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

Keep Reading By Author Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.
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