Healing Horses Turn Tragedy to Triumph

Brittany Saber isn't supposed to be alive and she most certainly isn't supposed to be walking.

The 18 year old Rancho Penasquitos resident was seriously injured in a car accident two years ago and doctors told her parents to start coming to grips with the fact she may never walk, talk, or live a normal life again.

Fast forward to May 2008 and you'll see Brittany every Saturday at the "Magic Horse Therapeutic Riding Center" on the saddle with a smile on her face.

Brittany started to come to horse therapy last summer and has made a remarkable recovery - in fact, it started almost immediately. 

"Her first day she came up in a walker and about right here she dropped her walker and made her first step to the horse cause she was so excited" said mother Alyesha Saber.

The riding center is owned and operated by Robin Pawl who says horses and humans have always had a special connection.  Pawl says the practical part of the recovery comes with the mental and physical challenges that horse riding requires.  It starts with tacking up. 

"There are fine motor skills, all the buckles, there are lots of buckles on horse tack, and it's very challenging to get the fingers to move" said Pawl. 

The magical part of the recovery however comes with the connection between humans and horses.

The horse riding sessions have given Brittany confidence, strength, balance, coordination and a sense of independence, something the teenager says she hasn't really had since before the accident.  Never in her wildest dreams did she think horses would be so instrumental in her recovery.

"Getting to where I am now, I never imagined I'd be this good, this fast."

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