Created: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 09:53:00 EST
Updated: Mon, 06 May 2013 01:59:24 EST
An hour on horseback once a week can be more than just fun. In this Healthy Living, I will show you how horses can be used to gain physical and emotional strength. Janice Slavin's daughter Holly is a two time cancer survivor. For Janice and Holly, trotting aboard Hershey is a bit of “Heaven on Earth. Holly Slavin: “It is very good therapy for your kids, they can learn a lot, and it is not boring, I can tell you that.” Emily Nicole Slavin: “Because I like riding the horses and it is really really fun.” Holly and Emily are among the children at brave meadows developing confidence and independence through horseback riding. At Brave Meadows, students are taught the foundations of equine behavior, horse care and horsemanship skills. Janice Slavin: “Given what Holly has been through with cancer twice, this really gave her a chance to readjust to normal life in a safe setting. She gets to come here, and ride. Without it she would be doing traditional physical therapy. “ Shannon Milner runs the nonprofit therapeutic riding center in Jones County. The center provides children with the rewarding benefits of horseback riding. Janice Slavin: “Horseback riding is good for her body and for her mind. She gets to come out and get some exercise, be around other children, it builds her confidence and it builds her core body strength.” These animals are providing valuable therapy to people of varying physical and mental disabilities. The horse centered therapy encourages self-growth and provides physical, cognitive, social, emotional and educational benefits. Dena Smith: “Just to see the smiles on their faces, and just the things the children can accomplish is unbelievable, and the rewards you will receive are unbelievable. “ Brave Meadows is in desperate need of assistance to continue providing horseback riding sessions to children. If you can assist with operating costs or supplies, Call 478-986-0329.