Columbia University studying horse therapy for veterans with PTSD at Bergen County stables

PTSD

By Lindy Washburn

They are each wary and slow to trust others. They each scan their surroundings constantly. And each stays constantly alert for danger.

But while horses depend on those characteristics for survival, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder can find them debilitating — traits that interfere with family and work life and can result in disturbed sleep, depression and substance abuse.

Now, researchers are hoping that when man and beast find common ground, through a series of guided interactions such as grooming the horse and leading it around a ring, it will help treat PTSD.

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