THE boy’s lopsided but enormous smile is so infectious that I laugh as he rides past. He’s a tiny little thing, sitting astride a pony and wobbling in the saddle like a rag doll while two elderly volunteers keep a steadying hand on his spindly legs. A third volunteer leads the placid pony.The boy is clutching a beanbag. He is supposed to pass it to one of his helpers to help strengthen his co-ordination skills, but he’s sucking it instead.When riding instructor Wihan Ras lifts him down 20 minutes later, he has to prise the autistic boy’s fingers off the pony’s mane. The pony, thankfully, is unperturbed and happy to accept the clumsy pats the boy plops on his nose.Disabled children who receive "equine therapy" experience a range of benefits from their weekly rides: muscles woken up, spasms relaxed, and a sense of accomplishment stirring in their damaged brains."These kids are never going to get off the horse and be normal, but we can assist them in being more normal and integrating i...

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