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Veterans find peace, healing in equine therapy

ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY JUNE 30 AND THEREAFTER - In Monday March 4 2013 phoNick Bennett looks horses their stalls Strides

ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY JUNE 30 AND THEREAFTER - In a Monday, March 4, 2013 photo, Nick Bennett looks at horses in their stalls at Strides to Success in Plainfield, Ind., Monday, March 4, 2013. A number of Central Indiana veterans with issues deriving from their military service, are working with horses and learning life skills from them in the “Strides to Success” program. (AP Photo/The Star, Kelly Wilkinson)

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PLAINFIELD(AP) — Military veterans battling post-traumatic stress syndrome and injuries are finding a new resource at Plainfield program that teams them with horses that can teach them life skills.

The “Strides to Success” program is one of 850 centers accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

The Indianapolis Star reports the center pairs clients with horses and helps them learn lessons about things like trust, communication and leadership.

Sessions involve teaching veterans how to lead a 1,200-pound animal through various activities and challenges and helping them establish a relationship with the horse to earn its trust, respect and cooperation.

A 2012 Veterans Affairs study showed nearly 30 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans treated at the department’s facilities suffer from PTSD.



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