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Making ‘Mother!,’ the Year’s Most Divisive Film

NY Times - 2 hours 35 min ago
Is it the most confusing movie of 2017 or merely the most provocative? Darren Aronofsky, Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem explain the movie.

Aung San Suu Kyi addresses nation over crisis

CNN - 2 hours 36 min ago
Crowds gathered outside a large screen in Yangon, Myanmar as the nation's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi prepared to speak to the country amid intense criticism her handling of the Rohingya crisis.

Therapy rides for veterans don’t stress out horses

Futurity.org - 2 hours 39 min ago

Therapeutic horseback riding programs for veterans with PTSD don’t stress out the horses involved, research shows.

Veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder often are prescribed this type of therapy in order to cope with anxiety, but little has been known about how these programs affect the stress levels in horses.

The results show that therapeutic horseback riding, also known as THR, may provide a viable repurposing for retired or unwanted horses.

“Estimates have shown that approximately 6,300 horses globally work in therapeutic horseback riding programs at more than 800 centers,” says Rebecca Johnson, a professor in the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, and the professor of gerontological nursing in the Sinclair School of Nursing.

“While there is a growing body of literature demonstrating the beneficial outcomes from THR programs for people with developmental, cognitive, and psychosocial disabilities, such as veterans with PTSD, it is imperative that we consider horse stress levels to ensure their health and welfare.

“Our study was designed to assess the differences in both physiological stress levels and behavioral stress responses while being ridden by veterans in these programs or by experienced riders.”

Two groups were recruited for the study: veterans who were diagnosed with PTSD and healthy, experienced riders. Each individual horse was ridden in accordance with an approved program for approximately 60 minutes weekly at the same time of day for six weeks. Veterans learned basic horseback riding skills as well as how to apply riding tack to the horse, mounting, and dismounting. Experienced riders were asked to go through the same actions as the veterans.

In order to measure physiological stressors on the horses, blood samples were collected 30 minutes before classes started, after the riding tack was applied to the horse, and after the riding class at the first, third, and sixth weeks. Cortisol, which is a part of the central nervous system and a good indicator of stress in the body, was measured as well as glucose concentrations and other measurements.

How horse whinnies convey their emotions

Researchers assessed behavioral stress indicators by viewing videotapes of the horses obtained for two-minute periods during the first, third, and sixth weeks. Using a stress scale, two researchers scored the videos involving different horses to determine restlessness, jumpiness, and startle-reflexes, as well as how accepting and calm the horses were at other times.

“Findings from our physiological and behavioral data indicated that the horses were not unduly stressed by the THR work; however, we found differences in the horses’ stress levels between rider groups,” Johnson says.

“Equine cortisol levels were elevated after riding tack was applied by inexperienced riders, in this case the veterans. However, we think that might be because these riders were applying the tack and mounting the horses a little differently than the experienced riders. The horses also showed elevated physiological and behavioral responses with experienced riders, which could indicate that these riders expect a higher level of performance from the horses.

“Overall, horses involved in the THR program exhibited low stress responses, indicating no harm from doing the work of THR, which could give retired or unwanted horses a new lease on life.”

Baby horses raise new questions about autism

The interaction between horses and riders has been demonstrated to increase riders’ confidence, self-esteem, sensory sensitivity, and social motivation while decreasing stress. THR programs could enhance their orientation times and curricula to include tacking classes and increasing introductory sessions between horses and riders to decrease stress to the horses, Johnson says.

Future studies should include larger groups of participants as well as other measures of physiological stress.

The article appears in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. Funding came from the USDA National Institutes of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

Source: University of Missouri

The post Therapy rides for veterans don’t stress out horses appeared first on Futurity.

The new GOP health-care measure goes further than the failed one

Washington Post - 2 hours 47 min ago
Republicans are suddenly okay with Medicaid cuts they opposed.

Why Trump will be the big winner in next week's Alabama Senate race

CNN - 2 hours 52 min ago
One week from today, Alabama Sen. Luther Strange and former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore will face off in a GOP runoff in the race to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Senate. The race has drawn lots of national attention, as President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have endorsed Strange, while former top White House adviser Steve Bannon is on Moore's side. Who wins? And what does who wins tell us about the current state of the GOP? I reached out to my friend Bryan Lyman, the state government reporter at the Montgomery Advertiser, for answers. Our conversation, conducted via email and lightly edited for flow, is below.

News Analysis: Hamas Offer Reflects Pressure From Egypt and Fatah

NY Times - 2 hours 53 min ago
The militant group that controls Gaza agreed to Palestinian Authority demands, but said nothing about disarming. In the past, hopes for unity have been dashed.

Opinion: I don't need a thicker skin, you need a conscience

CNN - 2 hours 58 min ago
Reading Amber Tamblyn's piece in The New York Times on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the film industry this weekend, I relived an event that happened to me almost 10 years ago.

Trump joins the UN club he once derided

CNN - 3 hours 6 min ago
President Donald Trump used the United Nations as a foil on the campaign trail in 2016, slamming it for its "utter weakness and incompetence" and arguing that it is "not a friend of freedom."

Hurricane Maria roars ashore in the Caribbean

CNN - 3 hours 8 min ago
Hurricane Maria has made its first landfall in Dominica, causing "widespread devastation"

Merriam-Webster redefines 'troll'

CNN - 3 hours 10 min ago
In the months since last November's election, the Merriam-Webster dictionary has been on overdrive.

Roy Moore includes 'reds and yellows' on list of racially divided groups

Washington Post - 3 hours 17 min ago
While making the case for unifying the electorate, a candidate for Alabama's open Senate seat ended up saying something pretty divisive.

Trump Envisions a Parade Showing Off American Military Might

NY Times - 3 hours 18 min ago
At a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France at the United Nations, Mr. Trump said he got the idea after watching the Bastille Day parade.

Protesters drown out Nancy Pelosi

CNN - 3 hours 21 min ago
A group of protesters interrupted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at an event in San Francisco over the DREAM Act.

40 million slaves in the world, report says

CNN - 3 hours 31 min ago
More than 40 million people were estimated to be victims of modern slavery in 2016 -- and one in four of those were children.

A ‘Quest for Justice’ for Murdered Civil Rights Pioneer, 52 Years Later

NY Times - 3 hours 41 min ago
Who killed Alberta Jones, Louisville’s first black prosecutor, in 1965? Prodded by a professor, the police are trying again to find out.

Trump says he wants a massive military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on July 4

Washington Post - 3 hours 47 min ago
Trump loved France's Bastille Day military parade so much that he wants one of his own in America.

A conversation with Melinda Gates

CNN - 3 hours 51 min ago
Poppy Harlow talks to Melinda Gates about her personal mission to create opportunities for women and girls.

Manafort wiretapped under secret court orders

CNN - 4 hours 2 min ago
US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a Much-Changed Icon, Evades Rohingya Accusations

NY Times - 4 hours 4 min ago
In her first speech since the crisis started, the de facto leader of Myanmar defended the security forces despite accusations of ethnic cleansing.
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