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Dec 15, 2013 8:32 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Horses help Tucson children heal from tragedy

TUCSON- Dealing with death is never easy, especially for children who may not understand their loved ones aren't returning to their lives.

But Sunday afternoon nearly 20 children from Tu Nidito were given a chance to heal, with the help of horses.

Therapeutic Riding of Tucson, or TROT, held "The Jessica Rekos Day of Love", in honor of Jessica Rekos who was killed in the school shooting massacre on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, CT.

"I think horses are really compassionate, empathetic and calming creatures, so a lot of times, just being around the horses is really relaxing," says TROT Instructor Melanie Roeder.

Roeder grew up in Newtown, CT and was friends with Jessica's mother. She says Jessica was an avid horse rider. "She loved reading about horses and watching movies about horses, so this is to honor her memory," Roeder says.

The event helped children like Addison Norman. The seven year old lost her grandfather in September 2012. "She'll wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and still be sad he's gone," says Mother Jaclyn Norman.

Norman says Addison loves horses and this is a way for her to relax and break away from her sadness. And while Addison still misses her grandfather, she is now one step closer to healing.

TROT also offers programs which help people with physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.


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