The northeast's newest therapeutic riding center, the Southern Vermont Therapeutic Riding Center, opens with a slate of equine-based therapeutic programs for children and adults on Feb. 8 at Winchester Stables in Newfane.
The Center, is looking for energetic people 14 years of age and older to volunteer their time at the center.
Volunteers need not have horse experience, only horse sense and a strong desire to work with and around horses and people with physical, cognitive and emotional needs.
The first Volunteer Training session will be on Saturday, Feb. 6 from 10 a.m. to noon with a question and answer session following.
Under the direction of Lorna Young, a North American Riding for the Handicapped Association Certified Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor, SVTRC will offer three distinct six-week programs: Therapeutic Riding, which develops riding skills and provides exercise to individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional needs; Horsemanship, which teaches basic horse care, safety and behavior, and Vocational Ed, which develops career skills in horsemanship, horse care and behavior. Depending upon the individual's needs, participants may schedule group or private sessions.
While the benefits of Therapeutic Riding have been medically documented, statistics alone cannot fully describe its true value. The look of confidence, pride and achievement on a rider's face when he or she has successfully completed a task is the most profound measure of its value. Therapeutic Riding works, and its benefits are ongoing.
Individuals with the following disabilities commonly participate and benefit from equine facilitated therapy and activities: Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Visual Impairment, Down Syndrome, Mental Retardation, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, Emotional Disabilities, Brain Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, Amputations, Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, Deafness, Cardiovascular accident/Stroke.
Winchester Stables is on River Road. For fees, to volunteer and to learn more about SVTRC, Winchester Stables and therapeutic riding in general visit online at www.winchesterstables.com or call 365-9434.