Cowboy lessons help wounded soldiers overcome the physical and mental toll of war
Servicemen and women learn how to ride Western style, as well as how to herd on a rangeCourse boosts confidence and gives soldiers the time to think about their futures
11:01 GMT, 20 August 2012
A horse riding charity is helping wounded British soldiers to cope with their injuries – by teaching them cowboy skills.
They invited servicemen and women coping with amputated limbs or psychological problems after serving in a war zone to spend a few weeks in the beautiful surroundings of Aboyne, Aberdeenshire.
During the course they learn how to
ride Western style, as well as how to herd on a range. They also receive adventure training and bush craft skills.
The horses help them to increase their mobility as well as providing a therapeutic benefit.
Serving Paratrooper Scott Meenagh works with an American Quarter Horse on June 28, 2012
Former Royal Marine Vince Manley lost both his legs in Iraq in 2006. He had served in Northern Ireland and Sierra Leone
The founders of Horseback UK, Jock and Emma Hutchison, said their courses gave soldiers re-found confidence and a more positive outlook on their futures.
They started the charity three years ago and their team includes some ex-military volunteers. They use American Quarter hoses, which are known for their calm temperaments.
Mr Hutchison said the courses gave people time to consider what they wanted to do next.
A recent attendee was Pte
Scott Meenagh, of the Parachute Regiment, who lost both legs after
stepping on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2011.
The 23-year-old's friend and colleague
was killed trying to reach him, but despite the tragedy Mr Meenagh has
taken up several sports including ice hocked and sailing to raise money for veterans.
Equine therapy: Former Royal Marine Vince Manley (left) and Andy Harrold, formerly of the RAF (right)
Former Royal Marine, Jock Hutchison set up Horseback UK with his wife Emma
Testimonials on the website revealed that working with horses had helped many come to terms with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Another course attendee said: 'I have learnt that I am stubborn but determined and still able to
learn. I can laugh again and know what fun is. I thank you so much for
this chance as I now realise I am not on the scrap heap and have a
chance at life again.'
For more information about HorseBack UK visit http://www.horseback.org.uk/