Veterans find horse care riding therapeutic

first_imgWhen Kate Hudgin left the Army in 2010, after working as a mechanic, she could barely walk unassisted. She had trouble recovering after she was hurt, badly, in training, and often faced crippling depression after leaving the service.Then she found Windhaven Therapeutic Riding in La Center.“It changed my life,” she said. “Everybody that’s in the program has the same story to tell. There are people that don’t leave their houses unless it to come up and work with the horses.”Hudgin and other program staff spoke about the program, with Windhaven horse Diesel in tow, Sunday at the Washington State Horse Expo.Hudgin started helping out with Windhaven late last year and started participating with their classes about 1 1/2 months ago.She said her medication has dropped from a handful of pills with each meal to a few per day, and now she’s working on becoming a full-time instructor for other veterans who come to Windhaven.“There are people who don’t sleep at night,” she said. “Since they’ve been working with the program, they’re able to sleep at night because they have something to focus on.”Windhaven, a riding and horse care program aimed at veterans, was there with the mounted archery performances, fancy riding displays, horsemanship tip sessions and hundreds of vendors.last_img read more