Forrestfield resident saddled up for therapy after stroke

Forrestfield resident saddled up for therapy after stroke

A STROKE survivor saddled up a year ago for an equine form of rehabilitative therapy which brought her back to her time on the racetrack.

Forrestfield resident Viv Waghorn started horse riding at HorsePower Swan Valley as part of her therapy after suffering from a debilitating stroke in 2017.

Ms Waghorn was paired with specially trained retired racehorse Cookie to help with her balance and coordination once a week for almost a year.

“After a stroke you tend to isolate yourself and stay at home,” she said.

“I’ve been in the racing industry since I was 16 and I loved the track work.

“Now I’m just like a little kid at a chocolate factory, waiting to go on Thursday.”

Ms Waghorn said her first time at the horse riding therapy session lasted about seven minutes.

“The first time I got there, I needed two people on the other side of the horse just to get on,” she said.

“Just before the Easter break, I said ‘hang on a minute’ and I walked over the ramp and set on the horse on my own.

“Then I proceeded to walk around the arena with only attendant on either side and they’re not hanging on to me.”

Ms Waghorn said many people underestimate horse riding as a form of therapy and the form should be more publicised.

“I think they have put me a good six to eight months ahead of where I would have been without Cookie and with him I’m just so far in front,” she said.

“Without the horses and the work people do with them, I wouldn’t be where I am today – without a doubt.”