Independent all-ranks staff association for regular, reserve and veteran UK armed forces personnel

Injured soldiers train as cowboys to regain confidence

A Stetson, chaps and cowboy boots aren't the usual uniform for a soldier, but they're what Lance Corporal Jay Hare from 45 Commando Royal Marines wears to work these days. BBC News reports that:

An experienced soldier with three tours of Afghanistan, Jay has spent the last four months learning how to ride and look after horses on a farm in the rolling Aberdeenshire countryside.

It is part of the 29 year old's rehabilitation after being severely injured nearly two years ago when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device in the Sangin Valley.

He said: "I'm just learning to adapt to the world with a prosthetic leg. I lost my left leg below the knee, digits to my right hand and my left eye."

Jay spent five weeks in hospital, and then went to Headley Court, the military rehabilitation centre in Surrey.

"I went in there in a wheelchair, and walked out, with the basics of learning how to run," he said.

Now Jay is preparing for life outside the military, with the help of the charity Horseback UK. It specialises in Western Riding - the technique used by cowboys.

Regaining confidence

The theory is that the patience required to work with the horses, and the peace of the farm, will help heal mental and physical scars. ...

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