Bob Pickard

Riding Toward Recovery: Fallbrook equine therapy center helps a former Army Scout wounded in Iraq War

San Diego Union-Tribune | October 9th, 2015 | Visit the original article online

Scott thorne crop 2

Scott Thorne sits tall in the saddle and rocks in perfect rhythm with his horse’s gait as they trot across a dusty ring at the REINS therapeutic horseback-riding center in Fallbrook. The 35-year-old former Army Cavalry scout rides so smoothly that you’d never know he can’t feel the right side of his body or see out of the right side of each eye, the result of a severe head wound suffered 11 years ago in Iraq.The first hint comes when he removes his riding helmet, revealing curved scars on the left side of his head. That’s where an insurgent’s bullet hit him. It’s still there, because doctors feared removing it would cause more damage.

"You’re riding great," says his instructor, Kaitlyn Siewert. "Want to take a breather?" She already knows the answer. "Nope, I want to go faster," says Thorne.