UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
MCGREGOR -- A new therapeutic program in central Texas is providing free horse-back riding for disabled veterans.
The REACH Therapeutic Riding Center has started Horses for Heroes, designed to help veterans with physical disabilities or those battling mental combat trauma like PTSD.
Director Larry Barnett said the center usually works with people with autism, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, but they wanted to expand the benefits of riding therapy to serve the high population of retired veterans in central Texas.
"If you're going to ride a horse you're going to get a physical benefit. It's going to affect your core muscles. If you ride hard, if you do a lot of, like ride barrels or something like that, you're going to affect every muscle in your body just about. But that's just one thing. Another benefit is psychological," said Barnett.
Sessions are held each Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the facility's headquarter's on Camp Road in McGregor and veterans must have a medical release form from a doctor to participate.