Widow of ‘American Sniper’ visits East Texas to help bring awareness to equine therapy


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – When Chris Kyle was murdered in 2013, he was married with two young children.

“I remember when they told me that Chris was killed, I remember thinking, are you sure,” said Taya Kyle, Chris’s widow.

She spoke in Tyler on Thursday about the life she once had, the love she lost, and how she overcame.

“I knew we would survive it somehow and I started to get my kids the healing they needed. And when I got them the healing they needed, I would realize I could use it too,” said Kyle.

One way the Kyle family worked through grief was equine therapy. That’s the same way East Texans and people all over the world are healing.

Some at Windridge in Dianna and a few here at the Tyler facility.

Like Abby Peterson…

“She knows how to make the horse go, to stop, turn left, turn right, go fast, or go slower,” said Eric Peterson, Abby’s dad. “You learn a lot of things like that becomes second nature to her that, and as parents it’s a lot of fun to go out and watch her every week progress and learn a little bit more.”

With all the amazing work they’re already doing at the Tyler facility for 17 families, just imagine how much more they could do in a temperature controlled one. Which is what Kim Oliver, director of the Tyler site, says they need and are working to raise funds for.

“A lot of our riders, the heat and the cold affect them severely and so where in our Dianna, we go a few weeks longer in the summer than we can here, because of direct sunlight,” said Oliver.

That’s why they asked Kyle to share her story with the Tyler community, so that others would see the importance, and the value of this unique type of therapy.

“I had a young girl that in the clinic, I was trying to get her to walk, you know, five feet from mom to me,” said Oliver. “The first time I put her on horseback, she walked across the pasture and it’s just been miracle after miracle.”

Many miracle moments, thanks to healing horses.

If you would like to donate toward the new facility, volunteer, or find out more information about the therapy programs they offer, visit their website at www.windridgetexas.com.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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