Western Junior Whitney Fleming knows horses. As president of the WWU Equestrian Team, Fleming has learned to look for nuances in the way riders signal horses and the way horses respond. Tiny movements in the muscles of a riders' legs or hips are often all that's needed to communicate with animals that can reach 1,200 pounds and have personalities as unique and individual as their riders. But Fleming did not realize how close she was to the animals she rides and works with until a traumatic trailer crash toppled her horse into a highway ditch.

This video was shot, edited and produced by Western Washington University journalism students Brooke Warren, Jordan Whitford and Mindon Win as part of WWU's Digital Media in Journalism class. Special thanks to Whitney Fleming and the WWU Equestrian Team.

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