*Remember your local artisans, and work from home moms when you purchase your graduation, anniversary and wedding gifts this summer! I am a rep for a company specializing in personalized spectacular gifts, and there are many other women doing fantastic things to help their families out. Support work at home moms!*
You have probably all seen the various therapy modes available to people after an accident or stroke. At least, you have seen the ones located inside a rehabilitation clinic. But have you ever seen horses being used to help people recover? Well, believe it or not, it's done in our area! It's a bit of a drive, but nestled just outside of Bedford common, is a farm full of horses. And some strange contraptions in the riding pen.
The farm is owned by Stormie Shelton-Hazen, and the organization is called Astride with Pride. Stormie has a commitment to helping people using her own love of horses. Check out http://www.astridewithpride.org/
Therapeutic riding has many benefits, some of which are increased mobility, and strength, as well as bettering posture. For some disabled individuals, riding or trotting on the horse gives them the first impression of what it is like to run. Many of those items in the riding pen aren't going to be found in a show pen, but they help riders work on skills they may have lost.
The horse's hip movement simulates the human walk and jog, and this helps develop trunk control and muscle development in the rider. In many ways, this level of rehabilitation and freedom cannot be replicated in the traditional clinical setting.
Of course, horseback riding is good exercise for anyone, but because of places like Astride with Pride and also Many Blessings Farm- folks with cognitive and physical disabilities can experience the amazing experience of being on horseback.
If you or someone you know could benefit from equine therapy, please look into either farm. The Center for Pediatric Therapies is currently working in conjunction with Many Blessings Farm, also in Bedford county. Generally, both operations are always looking for volunteers to side walk or lead the horses for the riders, as well as help care for equipement and horses. Donations are always appreciated so that costs can be kept low for the families in need of therapy. So if you are looking for an opportunity to minister to your fellow human beings, this could be the thing for you!