Miniature horse Judd and young Tyler Cribbs are best friends, but unlike most people and animals who share a special bond, theirs is rather specific.
Judd was born at the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association in Grantville, Pa., with a condition that prevents him from supporting his own weight without splints.
The association offers horseback riding as therapy to patients with disabilities. Ironically, in the case of Judd, CARTA saw an opportunity to do the opposite.
"It's our turn to give therapy back," CATRA's Ben Nolt said. "There are horses who have had this in the past and recovered normally. We're sort of a wait and see."
While undergoing physical therapy, Judd has become an inspiration to local children, like Cribbs, who also requires splints to stand under his own power.
"[Judd] uses them the exact same way Tyler uses them to help strengthen his legs," the Pennsylvania boy's mother, Heather Cribbs, said.
"For Tyler to have an animal that is akin to him, it helps him want to do better because he sees the animal strengthened by the braces."
Though CATRA is committed to helping Judd recover, the cost of his care, which ranges from X-rays to bandage changes, is growing day by day.
Here's wishing these best friends nothing but the best.