TCU Helps Out at Local Therapeutic Riding Foundation
Sept. 15, 2008
FORT WORTH, Texas
The TCU equestrian team has been volunteering at the All-Star Equitherapy Foundation located in Mansfield, Texas.
The foundation provides therapeutic horseback riding to physically, mentally and emotionally challenged riders of all ages. Services at the All-Star riding center are made through the support of community volunteers.
This past March, the Horned Frogs performed in the opening ceremonies at one of the foundation's open houses. After meeting some of the program's riders, TCU signed up to volunteer.
"Equitherapy helps our riders build muscle strength, balance, self-confidence and allows some to move about freely for the first time in their lives," program director Cynthia Amodei said.
TCU gets to the facility ahead of class time to prepare each of the horses by grooming and tacking them. The team helps by either leading a rider on horseback or by being a sidewalker, a person who walks along beside the horse to assist the rider.
"The TCU equestrian team is a very talented group of young women and their help is priceless," Amodei said. "They treat our riders with such professionalism and compassion. They are so aware of what the horse can do to help our challenged riders."
"Volunteering at All-Star is great because we get to combine helping people with our love of horses," TCU sophomore Kelly Morris said. "Horses are good therapy for everybody and it is great that kids who are denied so many other opportunities still get to have the benefit of riding horses."
There is a large waiting list to attend classes at All-Star and the foundation is in need of more volunteers.
"When TCU signed up again for this semester, it was like a huge weight was lifted off the foundation's shoulders," Amodei said.