Healing through Therapeutic Horseback Riding
I have started to come to INTRA. The first time I came there I didn’t want to ride, I just wanted to walk in the dark with a horse; it seemed to find its way to my soul. I am not missing a visit, I am now riding the horse, and I am beginning to feel relaxed.
The Israeli soldier who shared these thoughts served in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge and returned home to his family emotionally paralyzed by his experiences. He found relief and healing at INTRA-Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association. Anita Shkedi, who founded INTRA with her husband, Giora, many years ago, is one of the foremost researchers on the use of therapeutic riding with PTSD patients like this soldier. Her ground-breaking work is shared in lectures she delivers around the world.
If you put someone who is physically disabled atop a horse, the animal’s stride stimulates muscles and nerves that may be unaffected by traditional therapy. For those struggling with PTSD, the unique animal-human bond promotes self-confidence, relaxation, discipline and many more benefits. In the past our funds have helped several veterans with PTSD, some suffering since the Yom Kippur War. This year’s grant was directed to help more veterans.