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GLOSSARY ing the people, animals, nature, and situations therein, emphasizing emotional, mental, social, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Frog (horse anatomy): Wedge-shaped substance in the sole of the hoof which acts as a cushion.

Gerontology: The scientific study of the process and problems of aging.

Hackamore: Circular device fitting around a horse’s muzzle, an alternative to a metal bit in his mouth, by which the rider communicates signals.

Half-halt: With a rider mounted, the horse is slowed almost to a stop, and then abruptly urged back to normal speed.

Harrington Rod Insertion: A procedure to stabilize the spine by fusing together two or more vertebrae, using either metal (Harrington) rods or bone grafts.

Hemispherectomy: Excision of one cerebral hemisphere, undertaken due to intractable (not adequately controlled by medication) epilepsy, and other cerebral conditions.

Hippotherapy: From the Greek word for horse, hippos, literally meaning therapy with the aid of a horse.

Infantile Spasms: Brief (typically one to five seconds) seizures occurring in clusters of two to one hundred at a time, with possibly dozens of episodes per day.

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Chapter 4: Instructors and Therapists

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Chapter Four

Instructors and Therapists—

The people who make it work

Imagine how scary it might be for a young rider, way up there on that huge horse, higher off the ground than he’s ever sat before, feeling motion he has never known before. Then think how the parents feel.

It must be traumatic for them to see their precious young guy or gal, of whom they are so protective, helped onto this great animal and led away, perhaps out of their sight.

From what I have observed, these riders are in the best of care.

I have personally worked with more than a dozen instructors or therapists and they are without a doubt the most capable, caring, giving, dedicated group of people I’ve ever known.

Watching instructors from various NARHA centers readying their charges to compete at Special Olympics one day, these words came to mind—they are a breed apart. While so many of us are busy “going for the gold” for ourselves, these people are helping others “go for it.” They are very protective of their riders, who respond to them with obvious affection. They may not get rich in this field. Their reward is the satisfaction of watching a child take a step, or speak for the first time; an adult walk without crutches; a grateful parent telling of new things a rider is accomplishing at home; the delight on a competitor’s face.

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1. From author’s interview with Michael Kaufmann, NARHA Communications Director, July, 2002.

2. Barbara Engel. The Horse, the Handicapped, and the Riding Team in a Therapeutic Riding Program, (1994) and Therapeutic Riding vols. I and II., (1998).

3. Sarah Muniz, NARHA Membership Coordinator, September, 2004.

4. Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) website, April,

2004, http://www.cantra.ca.

5. From author’s interview with Michael Kaufmann, NARHA Communications Director, July, 2002.

Chapter One

1. From author’s interview with Brandon Barnette’s mother, Melissa

Turner, Keller, Texas, March, 2002.

2. From author’s interview with Ronald Faries, D.C., Keller, Texas, July,


3. AHA website, What is Hippotherapy, April, 2004, http://www.americanhippotherapyassociation.org.

4. NARHA website, About NARHA, April, 2004, http://www.narha.org.

5. EFMHA website, Fact Sheet, April, 2004, http://www.narha.org.

6. EFMHA website, article in NARHA Strides magazine, Winter 1998, by

Isabella (Boo) McDaniel, M.Ed., NARHA Master Instructor, co-founder of EFMHA, May, 2002, http://www.narha.org, link to EFMHA.

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Chapter 17: Barbara—Transverse Myelitis

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Chapter Seventeen

Barbara—Transverse Myelitis

One of the purposes of this book is to inspire people to “be the best that you can be,” to quote an old familiar phrase. Barbara Lamb is the epitome of this sentiment.

In high school, Barbara won awards for her art, helped kids as a volunteer through an organization called PALS, (Peer Assistant Leadership

Service), worked as an usher at the local major league baseball field, and typed sixty words per minute on her computer.

A typical teenager? Yes. Except for one thing. She has been paralyzed from the shoulders down since the age of two.

Barbara began a hippotherapy program when she was sixteen. At first, her sidewalkers supported her back with a hand behind each shoulder.

After several rides, she gradually began to sit up straight on her own, and we only steadied her with gentle pressure on her hipbones. If she leaned too far to one side, the therapist would ask the volunteer on the opposite side to press down on her hip, which would restore her balance.

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Bulldogging: A timed rodeo event in which the contestant dives from his saddle to grab the horns of a speeding steer, and wrestles it to the ground.

CanTRA: Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association, P. O. Box 24009,

Guelph, Ontario, CA N1E 6V8, (519) 767-0700, Email: ctra@golden. net, http://www.cantra.ca.

Clonus: A form of movement marked by contractions and relaxations of a muscle, occurring in rapid succession.

Contraindications: Physical or mental conditions which prevent an individual’s participation in an equine assisted program; in general, any condition which renders a particular line of treatment improper or undesirable.

CPR: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, a procedure including the timed external compression of the anterior chest wall, to stimulate blood

flow by pumping the heart, and alternating with mouth to mouth breathing, to provide oxygen.

DPT: A series of shots containing a combination of vaccines to immunize against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus.

EAGALA: Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, P. O. Box

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