Green Country families are turning to horses for a unique therapy at an even more unique location.
“Hold on tight, here we go.”
Mia Nelson is 15.
“Using that voice today, I’m proud of you.”
For Nelson, voice commands are sometimes a struggle. Her legs and core are also weak.
But when riding on a horse, those challenges grow easier.
“It's been a huge help physically, mentally and spiritually, something she likes doing,” DJ Nelson said.
The American Therapeutic Riding Center is welcoming 70 riders this fall, each with different mental and physical challenges.
You'd expect a facility like this to be tucked away on a countryside farm, but it's actually built on a landfill.
“They care about the environment, they care about the community and they care about the kids.”
American Environmental Landfill employees and the owner donate part of every paycheck to help out.
“Whatever it may be they are 100 percent backing us,” Vicki Beene, therapeutic trainer said.
Their funding makes it possible for Leanna McCoy to ride her favorite horse.
For years, Leanna has used Cowboy to help restore flexibility in her legs.
“If it wasn't for things like this she would be in a wheelchair,” Bonnie McCoy explained.
Doctors told her mother that she wouldn't be able to walk up stairs or jump.
“Now she does it, it's like see she can do it, you people were all wrong.”
These milestones are what keep the riders going.
They all have something to prove and thanks to the horses and the landfill they can find their freedom.
“I'm truly glad God put them on earth, for my benefit as well as many other benefits,” Beene said.
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