Throughout the world the use of the horse in rehabilitation and education continues to gain recognition as an important therapeutic tool. At the Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicapped, they've been at it for almost two decades.
Researchers have found that a horse's gait is similar to the human walk and it helps strengthen spine and pelvic muscles, improves posture and coordination not to mention a boost in confidence and self esteem.
The Sagebrush Equine Center serves more than a 100 children from the Developmental Preschool, Bellvue, Hailey, Woodside elementary schools and Wood River High School. The kids participate in therapeutic riding on a weekly basis for no charge.
SETCH also plays a big role in patients requiring on-going therapy due to accidents and serious illness. "For a person with a disability, in addition to receiving physical therapy, the back of a horse can take them to places where wheelchairs cannot," says founder Kristy Pigeon.
The self esteem built through these therapy sessions combats depression and improves the quality of life of the challenged individual.
SETCH is a nonprofit organization founded in 1991, Their goal is to provide physical, cognitive and emotional benefits that encourages independence, life skills, and the quality of life of the challenged.