Charity uses power of horsemanship to heal ex-soliders

Meet Bodi '“ the adorable young foal bringing peace to injured veterans.

Bodi is just a month old - but already causing a stir with her attitude. PIC Horseback UK.

Bodi is the latest arrival at HorseBack UK, a charity which has use the power of horsemanship to give ex-forces - and others suffering from trauma and injury - a chance to recover, build confidence and teach leadership.
Bodi is the latest arrival at HorseBack UK, a charity which has use the power of horsemanship to give ex-forces – and others suffering from trauma and injury – a chance to recover, build confidence and teach leadership.

Jock Hutchison, cofounder of the charity with his wife Emma, said the arrival of Bodi brought the total number of horses at their Aberdeenshire stables to 36.

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Bodi and mum Casey. PIC Horseback UK.

Mr Hutchison said Bodi was short for Boudica – a fitting name for the tough and independent young Corte.

“My belief is that she will be a very special horse. She has got the physique – and the attitude,” Mr Hutchison, a former Royal Marine, said.

“Every night we lead horse and foal into the stables but Bodi will go wandering off without her mum. You just don’t see that at a month old.” The foal was born to Casey, an abandoned horse that arrived at Horseback UK around six years ago.

Bodi the foal - the newest arrival at Horseback UK. PIC Horseback UK

She was artificially inseminated using sperm from a champion Corte from the United States.

The foal has already been used to teach those arriving at the stables about a horse’s nature.

Typically, those who attend HorseBack UK courses spend four days learning about the animals through responsibility, kindness and patience before they get in the saddle.

Mr Hutchison said communicating with the animals was a way of bringing people out of “isolation” with the aim of getting them to train others in the way of the horse – and ultimately into work.

Bodi and mum Casey. PIC Horseback UK.

“It’s a way of reconnecting people to the world without the social pressure of having to work with other people,” he said.

“We have had 660 people through here and I have only seen two that don’t take to horses.”

Mr Hutchison has also worked with people with substance misuse issues and offenders.

“You help them to regain confidence and you help them get back their self esteem. We help them to help themselves - and in turn help others.”

Bodi the foal - the newest arrival at Horseback UK. PIC Horseback UK

He added: “We have seen people come here and they are ‘locked in’ and withdrawn. Here, they are with other people who are int eh same boat, on the same journey.

“They live together, they eat together and they cook together.

“It’s a shared experience . By the end, they have come out of themselves, they are laughting, they are relaxed.”

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