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Horses Aid in Therapy For Rare Disease

Horse Therapy Helps Boy With Rare Disease

Obviously, I love animals! And I believe that they contain a special ability to help us heal – whether it's dogs, cats, or even horses! This time, our pony pals are taking the spotlight by helping disabled children, especially one boy stricken with extremely rare disease in the UK. The disease is called Chromosome 8 deletion (no super scientific name since there are only five cases in the world) that hinders a patient's ability to walk and talk. So far, a program offering "Hippotherapy" has been able to help 3-year-old Dyfan Wynne learn how to do just that!

Being offered at the Clwyd Special Riding Centre for the Disabled in the UK, Hippotherapy is a form of therapeutic horseback riding that allows special-needs children to learn how to use their limbs to sit, kneel, stand, and walk. Dyfan arrived at the center unable to perform these basic tasks, but after six months, he is joining in on vaulting competitions, and is even considering training for Dressage!

Join The Conversation
menomena menomena 8 years
There are programs like this all over the country. I have been involved with one in the past, and it benefits those with both physical and mental (dis)abilities. It is amazing to see students of all ages, who do not speak or even make eye contact when they show up at the barn, but as soon as they get on a horse they are laughing, talking, and following directions from the instructor with ease. If anyone is interested in this sort of things, these programs are always looking for volunteers, and you don't need any horse experience to walk beside a rider or help with barn chores!
ladyr ladyr 8 years
Awesome! It's amazing what animals can bring out in people.
LeftCoast LeftCoast 8 years
My nephew-in-law is also disabled (he suffers from a rare seizure disorder) and he is involved in a theraputic riding program in New Hampshire. It has really been amazing for him! Way to go PetSugar for spotlighting this wonderful story!
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