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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2006
    Posts
    890

    Default Traumatic Brain Injury

    Looking to see if anyone has experience with traumatic brain injury and therapeutic riding? My boss's wife had a horrific car accident last month. Not sure of all the details but she was in a coma for a week and in ICU for several weeks. She's now in a rehabilitation facility having to relearn everything - including how to walk. I've heard that therapeutic riding can be beneficial to those who have had TBI, but don't know of anyone with personal experience as to how it has helped. She used to ride when she was younger, and he told me he got her a horse squeezee to exercise her hands. Am hoping that this might be something that can give her some hope and motivation.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,995

    Default

    I don't have personal experience of how it works either but a horse's walk causes the human's body to feel the same as it felt to walk. Sort of a muscle memory or synapse thing depending upon whether the person was ever mobile or not.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Posts
    3,452

    Default

    I think Courtney King-Dye has written quite extensively about how riding has helped her re-learn skills after her TBI. All the best to your boss's wife.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Posts
    2,048

    Default

    One nice thing you could do would be to use your local horse contacts to find out if there's a program nearby that has a therapist on staff with experience working with people who've had TBI's. If there's a program with that expertise, share their info with your boss and let them take it from there. They might also ask the other therapists she's working with if they recommend it for her, when, where, etc.

    If the program closest to you only offers hippotherapy to young children, that won't be a good fit. They should ask a lot of questions before jumping in.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    5,400

    Default

    A friend’s mother had a horrific stroke (at a young age, mid 40’s). Which left her unable to walk speak etc. She has been steadily improving through various therapies (now can walk with a cane, and can speak in sentences).

    Horses are an important part of her recovery. She does mounted therapy, the walking motion of a horse mimics our own walking motion, and helps her loosen, and strengthen her back and hips, while also improving balance.

    Plus, she was a horse owner, and horse lover before the incident. For so many of us, horses are good for the soul. They help her just relax and enjoy herself, while getting a positive physical benefit.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2009
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    323

    Default

    I agree with Appsolute.

    I had a mild stroke in 2007. was deemed "too well" to go to a decent rehab. when I saw my neurologist a week after the stroke, he told me to get on my horse as soon as I could. If my horse was not good, then a theraputic horse.

    I feel I would not have recovered as well if I had not ridden.


    I would go get my horse, tack him up and ride. It took me a while to be self-sufficient, but I did as much as I could, eventually, being able to do it all.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2006
    Posts
    890

    Default

    Maryland Therapeutic Riding is located nearby so I will stop by and see what information they might have. I brought it up with my boss - it wasn't anything that he had heard of but he was quite interested in it. He said she was still a long way from being able to do anything like that but it was something that he felt might motivate her. Thanks for the responses.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2009
    Posts
    3,329

    Default

    OP MHR can help, I'd recommend getting the boss out there for a talk and a watch as the next step. I was long involved w/ a program in Ohio before moving, and it never failed to amaze me the way people benefited.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2006
    Posts
    890

    Default

    I wound up buying "Traumatic Brain Injury and Therapeutic Riding" by Anita Shkedi and gave it to him. He came back in to work today and was quite excited by it - I think he thought she was a long way from doing something like this but after reading the book, he thinks it's something that can help her now. He's going to contact Maryland Therapeutic Riding to find out more about the program. Really hoping it works out for them!


    7 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2008
    Location
    Reeds, MO
    Posts
    31

    Default Get her on a horse ASAP!

    I had a brain tumor removed and woke up from surgery paralyzed on the entire left side of my body from the neck down. I was not expected to recover. Today (seven years later) I walk with only a slight gimp and I credit my recovery mainly to my horses. I moved south (from Wisconsin) because we thought the warmer weather would help and there I discovered foxhunting. My horses are all so kind and honest -- I only fell off a few times -- I must've looked ridiculous, though, hanging on to mane for dear life because I hadn't the motor control to put my left foot back in the stirrup once I lost it. Sometimes I was so far back the coyote circled around and lapped me -- I got some of the best views! -- now I walk with only a slight gimp and never lose my stirrup at all anymore.
    "To ride a horse is to borrow freedom."


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    41,589

    Default

    A local cowboy was dragged thru the brush and ended up with a stick in his brain.

    He was severely handicapped and as soon as he could, everyone made it possible for him to get on a horse and they think that is why he advanced as rapidly as he did, although he is still years later severely handicapped, mentally and physically.

    That was some 30 or so years ago, today they have so much better ways to handle brain injuries, but yes, see if she is at a point where she can safely get on a horse, or at least get her on an http://equicizer.com/ type horse until she can.
    They really move just like a real horse and are used for therapy in some places.

    Wish her the best, that is terrible.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    I boarded at a therapeutic riding facility for three years and moved at the beginning of this summer.

    Yes, it DOES help. Not only physically, but it gives even extremely immobile individuals the chance to get the walking motion from riding and really something to just look forward to and enjoy. The program was geared towards the individual goal of each rider and had riders of all ages from someone in rehab from a hip or back injury to riders that are completely wheelchair bound and need a special saddle. But yes, even though I didn't work IN the program I was there every day and could see visible improvement for many.

    There are wonderful programs out there, you just need to look for them.
    Art De TriumphCaballineRebel
    I don't fall... I dismount... with style.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2007
    Location
    the heartland
    Posts
    218

    Default

    I second the idea that riding and working with horses helps. About a year ago, I suffered a brain aneurysm. My horses patiently helped me recover a lot of skills.

    Everything was broken. Multitasking was just wrong. Even lungeing my horses showed that. They would stop and want to know what I wanted as my aids were conflicting. They were so patient and the immediate feedback helped me progress. I went from being able to do one thing at a time to being able to handle complex activities. They were loving and the best to work with.


    2 members found this post helpful.

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