Wounded warriors benefit from ‘Operation Saddle Up’

The Ramona Sentinel | Jan. 27, 2012

Four years ago this month a pilot program began for wounded warriors that became “Operation Saddle Up,” an uplifting, healing process for veterans at Cornerstone Therapeutic Riding Center in Ramona.

Judy Beckett is founder and executive director of Cornerstone, which was one of three places invited to participate in the pilot program. She launched Operation Saddle Up when she moved her Cornerstone center to Creek Hollow Ranch in September 2008.

Beckett has seen firsthand how equine therapy has benefited the servicemen and women.

Operation Saddle Up offers active duty wounded warriors at the San Diego Naval Medical Center in Balboa Park the opportunity to bond with horses in three-hour sessions, meeting once a week for five or eight week periods. Participants learn how to ride a horse and are taught all aspects of caring for a horse.

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