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Horse therapy center needs volunteers
WATERVLIET, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A local horse therapy center is in desperate need of volunteers in 2013.
The Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Watervliet gives both kids and adults with special needs a chance to connect one on one with a horse.
But for every one rider, the center needs a handful volunteers to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Reyna Price, a local parent, began taking her 5-year-old daughter to the program last year. Her daughter suffers from a severe seizure disorder that s left her with minimal speech, weak muscle tone and difficulty walking.
She s not able to do what normal kids her age can do, Price says. When we first came here, the volunteers would have to hold her up as she rode. But now a year later she stands up tall all by herself. They re little milestones for her and for me. It s something she can do and accomplish on her own.
A success story like the Price s is born every day inside the arena, for both kids and adults with special needs.
John Valantiejus has been coming to the center for nearly five years.
I enjoy every minute of it, Valantiejus says, and I'm glad I get to come back every time.
Equine instructor Samie Ledyard says in order for the students to participate in the program, the non-profit needs as many volunteers as possible. Opportunities include hands-on work with the student, horse care and office work.
I ve seen magic in so many different areas for the students, whether it be physical, social or behavioral. There are just so many benefits for so many different people, Ledyard says. It s just magic. If you want to see real magic, come be a part of it.
Price adds, It s a joy for the volunteers to know they ve helped bring a smile to someone who can t get it anywhere else.
There will be a volunteer training on Saturday from 10-11am, which will provide an introduction to the center and the volunteer options. On Sunday from 3-5pm, the center will run a hands-on training session for people interested in side-walking or horse leading. Both trainings will be held at the TEC barn located at 615 N. M-140 in Watervliet, MI.
If you would like to join the team of volunteers, sign up for one of these trainings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 269-429-0671.