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Photo Essay: The Equest Center

Proceed to photo essay here.

The Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding is a therapeutic riding center in Rockford. You’re not going to find therapists in white lab coats...gentle horses and ponies are the therapists here. The patients are children, kids with any number of severe physical and mental challenges.

Says the photographer, “The horses are magical. They seem to know they carry especially fragile cargo as well as the weight of dreams on their shoulders...dreams of escaping gravity for a while. I watched kids who were contorted, twisted and confined to their wheelchairs begin to grow wings once placed up in the saddle.”

Horseback riding for the disabled is recognized as one of the more progressive forms of therapy. It combines instruction in traditional horsemanship skills with concepts of physical therapy, occupational therapy and social/emotional therapies to improve the riders in the following areas:

Roughly 125-150 riders, ranging in age from 2 to 90, enjoy the benefits of Equest each week, with a waiting list of disabled children hoping to participate in our program. Equest is a Member Center of the North American Riders of the Handicapped Association (and is one of only 3 therapeutic riding programs in Michigan that owns its own farm, complete with an outdoor riding arena and a heated indoor arena, barn, observation room and rest room.

It is the only year-round facility in the area.

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