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Soldiers help nurture horses to health

By Sgt. Tom Wade U.S. Army Central

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KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait , March 10, 2017 — Throughout man’s history of wars, conquests, travels and adventures, horses have been along each step of the way. To some, they are the symbols of emotional growth and healing; to others, they are equal partners in sports and recreations.

Spc. Rachel Dinger, an animal care specialist, with the195th Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support, gives a horse a hug, March 7, 2017, at the Kuwait Military Department of Defense. Their visit is part of the military to military project of sharing veterinarian services the United States has with its host nation of Kuwait. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tom Wade, USARCENT PAO)
Spc. Rachel Dinger, an animal care specialist, with the195th Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support, gives a horse a hug, March 7, 2017, at the Kuwait Military Department of Defense. Their visit is part of the military to military project of sharing veterinarian services the United States has with its host nation of Kuwait. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tom Wade, USARCENT PAO)
Spc. Rachel Dinger, an animal care specialist, with the195th Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support, gives a horse a hug, March 7, 2017, at the Kuwait Military Department of Defense. Their visit is part of the military to military project of sharing veterinarian services the United States has with its host nation of Kuwait. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tom Wade, USARCENT PAO) Soldiers help nurture horses to health
Spc. Rachel Dinger, an animal care specialist, with the195th Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support, gives a horse a hug, March 7, 2017, at the Kuwait Military Department of Defense. Their visit is part of the military to military project of sharing veterinarian services the United States has with its host nation of Kuwait. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tom Wade, USARCENT PAO)
The 195th Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support gave preventive care services, March 7, 2017, at the Equestrian Center in the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense. Their visit is part of the military to military project the United States has with its host nation of Kuwait.

“The Kuwaiti military does not currently have a veterinarian assigned to the Equestrian Division,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Margaret Pierson, 195th MDVSS. “We examine their lame and ills, bi-weekly, giving out free advice that can extend their lives.”

As a newly formed Army Reserve unit, the 195th MDVSS, from Baton Rouge, La., come with a lot of specialized services to the central command area. Known at the KMOD for medical services to horses; this unit also provides animal care technical services to cats and military working dogs, as well as inspections of incoming food for the dining facilities.

“We have 45 forward deployed Soldiers that cover the areas of Qatar, Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait,” said Maj. Catherine Williams, the commander of the 195th MDVSS. “These Soldiers maintain their clinical proficiency … while forging partnerships with the host nation.”

Horses residing at the Equestrian Center, are at ease with the medical attention the Soldiers give them. Whereas, a mare and her foal greet all by allowing the Soldiers to rub on their heads, even after conducting stress tests or inspections of their teeth and hooves.

“Overall, we ensure that the horses are getting vaccinated regularly, to which they appear to be,” said Maj. Curt Degeyter, the veterinary preventive medicine officer, with the 195th MDVSS. “We also ensure that the horses’ teeth get floated and that we get them on a parasitology type of program, to get rid of parasites.”

According to the guardian.com, horses make great companions for psychotherapy because they can mirror and respond to human behavior. Horses do not judge people, allowing emotional responses to be shared between the two parties.

This is why some people consider horses as symbols of emotional growth and healing, while others view them as equal partners in sports and recreations.