Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Horsin' Around

Imagine!'s Out & About Catalog program participants are on their last month of Horsin’ Around at the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center (CTRC) in Longmont. For the past two months, participants have built relationships with specific horses at the ranch week by week. Learning to start, stop, turn, trot, mount and dismount his/her horse, participants have gained an appreciation for the commitment and skills needed to ride.

CTRC is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) a Premier Accredited Center, which certifies a high level of excellence in quality of service, program deliverables and administration. “This center really has their stuff together and the weekly lessons are productive and well thought out,” said Scott Wendelberger, Out & About Instructor. “The volunteers and instructors at CTRC build rapport with our participants and it’s been really neat to see the relationships blossom.”

The instructor at CTRC assigned to our group, Britany Johnstone, has adapted the weekly lessons to each participant. For example, participant Elise is an experienced rider, and Britany challenges her to ride on different saddles and trot in circles. While participant Dillion is not new to horses, he is still learning the basic steps to riding. Britany gives him drills to exercise these specific steps. “I want the students to learn basic horsemanship terms and skills. We always strive for increased independence while steering, stopping, and trotting,” said Britany.

“When a participant gets on a horse they have control which is empowering to them and is an element they can apply to other areas of their lives,” said Megan McKean, Catalog Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. “Week to week, participants build trust with their horse and gain confidence in their ability, voice, and control.”

CTRC also offers a grounds keeping program which allows participants who do not ride to still interact with the horses. Such activities include grooming, brushing, hoof cleaning, and leading around the arena.

It’s been a great ride this Fall and we hope to continue this great relationship with CTRC in the future!

We’d like to say a sincere thank you to Scott Wendelberger for sharing this story.

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