- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Five years after an accident wreaked havoc on her body, Lisa Bozarth is slowly piecing together her life again with the help of a 15-year-old quarter horse named String of Treasures.

“When I am on the horse, it eases my pain,” Bozarth, of Jonesboro, told The Jonesboro Sun (http://bit.ly/1lpKxFo). “I am in chronic pain since my wreck.”

For 20 minutes, three times a week, Bozarth can be found riding String of Treasures as a form of physical therapy called hippotherapy at Arkansas State University’s Equine Center.

She was introduced to the concept in 2011 and, after exploring it, realized it sped up her recovery.

“This has helped me emotionally to be able to make it,” Bozarth said.

Catherine Page of Jonesboro meets Bozarth each week for the rides. Page said they met at the equine center, where they both house their horses.

“She is just a really nice person and easy to be friends with,” said Page, who helps Bozarth with her riding skills.

The work began when Bozarth was involved in a one-vehicle accident in 2009. A co-worker who carpooled with her fell asleep behind the wheel, causing the vehicle to crash and rollover. Landing in a fetal position, Bozarth attempted to crawl out of the vehicle but could only flip onto her back until help arrived.

Her injuries included a fractured pelvis socket and a broken arm, back, leg and ribs. She used a wheelchair and then a walker, and she can now walk for a few hours each day.

“I’m a lot better than I was,” she said. “But, I am no means what I was on the day of the wreck. I may never be. I’m still broken on the inside.”

Bozarth moved to Jonesboro from Marion in 1992. She graduated from Arkansas State University with two degrees: a bachelor’s in teaching and a master’s in counseling.

“I am a doer, a worker,” she added. “I’ve never been one to sit around. I try to use my abilities to help others.”

Due to her injuries, Bozarth said she lost her job, house and car, although she tries to keep active by volunteering in local organizations when possible.

“I know I may not seem like a spectacular person because I lost my job, house and I can’t work,” Bozarth said. “I try to use whatever I have as means to help other people.”

The experience has also brought her closer to her three children. She said they cherish the important things, which is each other.

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