Therapy horses help injured veteran get back in the saddle and take on life

Wes Cox, a former staff sergeant in Iraq, suffers from PTSD, but he’s found a treatment that works: Horses.

In 2008, Cox was serving in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by an IED, badly injuring Cox and killing seven other soldiers. As recently as 2016, Cox was afraid he was losing the battle against PTSD and depression.

“All the therapy and stuff at the VA with the medications just wasn’t working for me,” Cox told Fox 4. “I got to the point where I just wanted to give up on life.”

But Cox says a friend told him about Stars and Strides, a group that does equine therapy, and he says being on a horse has made all the difference in his life.

“These horses are so sensitive, if you’re anxious, if you’re tense, they’re gonna feel that and they’re gonna react to it. So you have to completely clear your mind, and almost become one with the horse.”

Cox’s therapy has been so successful, he’s even been able to volunteer to help out other disabled riders at Stars and Strides.

“It’s honestly saved my life. It made me realize that my problems are a lot, you know, less stressful and smaller than theirs are.”