SOUTH SIOUX CITY — Mike Burcham is back in the saddle again.
Burcham, who suffered severe injuries during a rodeo in January 2011, is now using a horse as part of his therapy to gain more use of his arms and legs.
Burcham is taking advantage of therapeutic riding through Special Troopers Adaptive Riding School (STARS) in Sioux City.
Burcham started his therapy by riding a horse in January.
“I was willing to try it and see how it worked,” Burcham said. “It was good to be back on a horse.”
Burcham’s riding sessions with STARS last approximately an hour.
“I am not alone — there are two side-walkers,” Burcham said. “Anita (Burcham’s wife) is on one side and the therapist is on the other side. Another person leads the horse.”
The therapeutic riding provided through STARS has made a difference for Burcham.
“It has helped me. The therapists are really enthusiastic about the progress I have made since I started,” Burcham said.
Since the injury occurred, Burcham has gained the ability to walk with a walker although he does need assistance with his balance.
“Anita helps me with my balance. My standing balance is limited but my sitting balance is good.” he said.
Burcham heads to the STARS location north of Sioux City one day a week.
“At first I was going two days a week but I go one day now,” he said. “I am also taking therapy in Yankton and it was getting to be a lot of days traveling back and forth.”
Burcham is impressed with all of the work STARS does to help people.
The therapy is making a difference. Burcham has a hope of gaining more ground in his recovery.
Burcham would one day like to ride one of his own horses across the hills in his pasture just east of Maskell.
Burcham has been a member of the Cedar County Ag Society/Fair Board for several years and continues to serve on the board.
He and Anita will be on the fairgrounds this week assisting in any way they can to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Of course the rodeo is one of Burcham’s favorite events during the fair.
Burcham and Larry Dybdal were instrumental in bringing the rodeo to the Cedar County Fair.
“Larry and I started with bull riding 15 years ago. A few years later we went to a full rodeo,” he said.
Burcham had been competing in rodeos as a saddle bronc rider for 22 years when he was severely injured at a rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas, when he was bucked off the horse.
Burcham suffered spinal cord injuries and was transported to a
Fort Worth hospital for surgery. He was then moved to the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln where he underwent therapy for several months before moving back to his home in Obert.