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Darach Rider Champions Veterans

October 26th, 2010

Congratulations to Lady Tedi with her latest new feature regarding her work with veterans. The original story can be found at: http://www.mpacorn.com/news/2010-09-03/Community/Horses_provide_therapy_for_veterans.html

Horses provide therapy for veterans
By Justin Cowles

September 3, 2010

A Moorpark equine specialist is using horses to help returning veterans who suffer from severe battle-related stress.

Tedi Tate, owner of two horses used for psychotherapy, helps veterans and their families at the Swan Hill Ranch in Moorpark. Her program is called the Caballine Alliance.

Tate said the way the two horses relate will affect patients differently.

“There is a very clear dominance pattern between the two horses,” Tate said. “For some people, that (pattern) will remind them of a relationship in their life very quickly. The relationships between the horses and the activities that the horses demonstrate will bring up different things for people.”

The most common problem for soldiers returning from war is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This anxiety disorder can develop from exposure to severe psychological events, like the constant threat of death.

Tate talked about an instance where a young paramedic almost made a life-threatening error, which caused him to freeze up during his training.

“We had the young paramedic come out and do a field exam on my thoroughbred,” Tate said. “The horse tolerated it very well. At first, the young paramedic was very nervous, but it worked out. This unusual approach helped him get unstuck. He has completed (his training) and is now on the job.”

During each session with the horses, an equine specialist and a psychotherapist are present. In Moorpark, Tate teams up with Barbara Levine, who’s been an equine-assisted psychotherapist for six years and has a private practice. She said patients in that type of therapy progress further and faster than with traditional techniques.

“(There is) a huge difference,” Levine said. “Typically, in an office, people come with a lot of defenses and it can take maybe months to get to the meat of an issue. I have often found that what I can see happen in the arena can be profound and happen more quickly than what can happen in the office.”

The equine-assisted therapy program is used alongside traditional office therapy. Patients use the horses to complete activities, which give the patients insight into their problems. As an adjunct to traditional therapy, the equine assistance aims to create self-produced results.

“We try to avoid pointing things out,” Tate said. “People do have the answers to their own problems; it’s just often buried under a lot of defense mechanisms. This type of therapy has a very blame-free way of doing that. To set up exercises where they can find their own answers works beautifully.”

For more information, visit www.thecaballinealliance.com/ home.html

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