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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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........
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!