Will E Sanders
PIQUA —For the instructors and students at Eagles’ Wings Stable, a horse is great medicine for one’s mind, body and soul — and nobody knows this better than Cory Monnin.
Monnin sustained a traumatic brain injury May 15, 2010, at the age of 15, after he was struck by a car while riding his moped to Miami East High School his freshman year. He sustained the injury after he was thrown 50 feet into a ditch, which left him unconscious and unresponsive. He spent the next three months in a coma.
For Monnin those injuries resulted in a severe traumatic brain injury of the middle and back part of his brain, which affected his mobility, balance, memory, focus, speech and vision.
“I was like a baby,” he said. “I had to relearn how to do everything all over again. I lost my independence. I looked like a stroke patient. I had no feeling in my left side. … I could not stand. I could not speak. I was a prisoner in my own body.”
He added: “I was 15, yet my body was the body of a 75-year-old.”
After he and his family began researching new therapies they learned of Eagles’ Wings Stable.
The stable, located at 5730 N. Washington Road, Piqua, uses mounted and unmounted equine assisted therapeutic activities in controlled situations to help program participants achieve functional goals and improvement, specifically involving children and adults with physical and mental handicaps.
“Travis, my therapy horse, helped me to regain my balance, core body and leg strength,” he said. “I now walk with a cane, need minimal assistance with mounting, my dexterity and range of motion has increased and strengthened as well. I now am able to dress myself, and perform the daily activities most take for granted.”
He said the stable was “an integral part of my recovery.”
Monnin said he is excited about starting a new chapter in his life, which is just now getting underway.
“Just a few weeks ago, carrying my book bag, I walked right through the front doors of Edison Community College with the aid of my cane,” he said.
Recently the stable welcomed Sgt. William Lee with the 1487th Transportation Company from the Piqua National Guard Armory to the stable’s new program called Horses for Heroes, which is a therapeutic riding program for veterans. Injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan can experience “positive benefits from equine assisted activities and therapeutic riding that transfers into their daily lives and through improved physical, psychological and psychosocial well-being.
Monnin shared his journey with Lee earlier this month, telling the sergeant that at 15 he found himself having to relearn the most basic tasks of daily living.
For more information about Eagles’ Wings, visit their website at eagleswingsstables.webs.com, or contact the stable by phone at (937) 726-8532.