STAR, Camp Bethel begin equine riding therapy
With a grant from the EQUUS Foundation and a partnership with Camp Bethel, riding therapy is available for individuals challenged with a variety of limiting conditions, physical and other.
Anne Westall, certified PATH riding instructor of 10 years, is teaching volunteers how to lead, side-walk, and assist riders. A mounting block enables all riders to “cowboy up.” Riders enjoy the feel of the horse walking through the riding pad, no saddle. The horse walking movement simulates leg walking, and with certain physical conditions, triggers the brain to remember what two legged walking is all about.
Equine therapy riding is a proven enhancement to the life of those needing a boost in self-esteem as well. The smiles are as big as the helmets, which are required.
“This is an exciting evolution for STAR Ranch” said Karen Owens, president of STAR Ranch. “We have dreamed of using rescue horses for therapy since we started, but didn’t have a flat spot to do it. EQUUS helped us start and Camp Bethel offered to house and run the program.”
“This therapy is well researched and its success well documented in the past years,” said Anne Westall, certified instructor. “I have watched challenged youth bloom sitting on a horse. It really is amazing.”
Volunteers are needed for this program that meets at 10 a.m. every Saturday, at Camp Bethel. off of Sutton Town Road. In addition, therapy professionals and agencies with prospective clients may call for pricing and additional information. Scholarships are available.
For information, or to schedule a ride, contact Karen Bates of Camp Bethel, at 954-684-3573. Visit www.star-ranch-rescue.com for information on STAR Ranch.