Powhatan equestrian center a ‘powerful’ therapeutic resource for veterans

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By Roxie Bustamante

Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center celebrated their 2,000th U.S. veteran rider Wednesday afternoon.

Owner Melvin ‘Clint’ Arrington said through hippotherapy – defined as the use of horseback riding for therapeutic purposes – U.S. veterans with physical injuries and emotional trauma gain mobility, strength, and most importantly, start the healing process.

“It’s as much mental as it is physical,” Arrington said during their 2,000th rider celebration. “That should tell you in itself that it works.”

Art Twachtman, a 69-year-old U.S. Marine veteran, started volunteering at the center years ago. But after he suffered from a stoke last year, he jumped on the saddle Wednesday as a patient.

“The difference between being on the ground versus being on the saddle is quite different,” he told 8News Reporter Roxie Buxtamante. “Balance improves. Internally you get stronger, core muscles improve. Riding is a great exercise.”

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