You've probably heard of therapy dogs, but chances are you've never heard of therapy horses. There's 14 of them at Lothlorien Horseback Riding Center in East Aurora.
“There’s a three dimensional movement on a horse that you can’t replicate in a clinical situation. You’re moving forward and backwards, side to side and up and down all at the same time and there’s nothing out there that can do that besides a horse," Program Director, Katie Macre said. “There’s something about the intuitive nature of a horse that does something with these riders. They know when something is going on with their rider.”
The riding center assists people living with physical, mental and behavioral issues. Some riders are as young as three years old, others are in their seventies. The center serves veterans who suffer from PTSD to children who have behavioral problems in school.
Victor Hale Schramm has been riding horses for the last 30 years. He was a victim of a car accident involving a drunk driver that left him severely injured, he's been going to Lothlorien for the past decade.
“When he [the horse, Stoney] has Hale on his back, he knows that he has to behave and perform in his lesson. There’s just a bond there, I can’t explain it myself but I see it everyday,” Macre said.
The riding center is a non-profit open since 1983 and it's completely volunteer run. Tnterested in helping? Go to their website: www.lothlorientrc.org