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A foal and a boy share a special bond - abc27 WHTM

A foal and a boy share a special bond

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GRANTVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) -

The Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association offers horseback riding as therapy. But now—one of its own pint-sized residents needs support.

"Judd is a miniature horse foal that was born here at CATRA the morning of August the 13th," CATRA's Ben Nolt told us.

"At first, he looked like any other foal. When he started to move around we realized he couldn't stand up, and that began the saga of Judd." The foal has a laxity in his tendons that makes it so he can't support his own weight without splints.

And after 28 years of the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association offering horseback riding to those living with disabilities... "We were offered an opportunity to offer therapy to a horse. The horse has been giving the therapy; it's our turn to give therapy back," said Nolt.

Which includes physical therapy for Judd, who also serves as an inspiration to children who attend CATRA, like Tyler Cribbs. He also requires leg support.

"He uses them the same way Tyler uses them to strengthen his legs," said Heather Cribbs, Tyler's mother. These two are the best of buds. "For Tyler to have an animal that is akin to him, it helps him want to do better because he sees the animal strengthened by the braces," said Cribbs.

As for Judd's prognosis, CATRA is in a "Save Judd" mode.

"Day by day. There are horses who have had this in the past and recovered normally. We're sort of a wait and see," said Nolt.

But that wait is also costly. Judd is just one of many animals at CATRA. His special care, including x-rays, is adding up. There's also daily bandage changes that cost ten dollars.

Volunteers are hoping the community will saddle up and help little Judd. "He's one of our own. What does that say to our children who come here?" said volunteer Bonnie Steigerwalt.

If you would like to help Judd, we have a link to the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association's website.

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