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Healing kids with equine therapy

The first time 10-year-old Ismael arrived for a session at the Pepe Martinez Equine Therapy Center  (CET) his gaunt body was so rigid he had to take his first horseback ride laid out facedown along the hinds quarters of the gentle steed called Rocco.

Though still debilitated by multiple birth defects, including cerebral palsy, renal deficiency and a heart ailment, after several months of regular treatments the youngster’s muscles are relaxed enough that he can ride sitting up, held firmly in place by the trainer mounted behind him.

He can’t express his feelings in words, but you can tell by the subtle glow of his face that he is relishing every moment of his 20-minute spin around the riding arena.

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