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“The riding center gave me a place to realize I wasn’t the only one with challenges. It was a place that I could go to and be normal for part of the week.”


~ Tiffany Billings, a college student with cerebral palsy


with their assigned volunteers and horses and reaching for objects from a different perspective than usual helps youths develop their spatial sense and fine motor skills.


Enhances self-esteem, self-con- fidence and self-control. Riders are encouraged to give verbal commands to their horse during sessions, which effects a command of vocabulary and boosts confidence while they bond with the horse.


While the documented benefits are derived from personal testimonials rather than clinical studies, the posi- tive results for children like Zach are indisputable. Meanwhile, therapeutic horseback riding is gaining increased acceptance in the medical community as more doctors are recommending this life-changing activity for their patients. PATH International spokesper- son Cher Smith says, “Our mission is to help certified centers provide safe access for all individuals living with special needs.”


For more information, visit PathIntl.org.


Cyndee Woolley works as an advocate for therapeutic riding centers.


natural awakenings May 2014 23


Every moment in our lives is a miracle we should enjoy


instead of ignoring. ~Yoko Ono


photo courtesy of Dream Catchers


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