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Wounded Soldiers Get Treatment at Whispers of Hope Horse Farm

Saddling up at a Wichita Falls horse farm is giving wounded soldiers a way to take their minds off what's going on in their lives.  Each week, a group of soldiers takes to the Whispers of Hope trails and arena for some horse therapy, giving them a sense of peace many haven't experienced in quite some time.

Getting a soldier's mind off work, or recovery, can be difficult.

But volunteers and horse trainers at Whispers of Hope Horse Farm have cracked that code.

Each week, they help wounded soldiers saddle up, hoping to take their minds off their every day treatment.

Mary Elizabeth Pearce, founder and executive director of Whispers of Hope, says, "These are soldiers that have gone and done duty for our country and we are so proud to have them.  A lot of them have some issues coming back from war and different things have gone on.  They're here to love on a horse that doesn't talk back."

For Army Specialist Jason Knowlton, horse therapy takes him to a different place.

"It reminds me of being back home a little bit," he says.  "I'm from south Georgia, so I'm a ways a way from my house."

It's an avenue of escape for soldiers whose days are normally jam-packed with treatment.

"The joy of the riding, the motion, is a wonderful feeling," Pearce says.  "It relaxes them.  Helps them with some of their issues with their physical injuries as well as their mental issues."

"Sitting high up on a big animal like this kind of gives you a sense of strength," Specialist Knowlton says.

Strength to persevere, to push through, and to overcome the challenges they face each day.

Horse trainers say the animals give these soldiers a sense of calmness they don't often feel, especially when they're on the battle field.
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