Horse Riders Overcome Disabilities

By: Cheryn Stone Email
By: Cheryn Stone Email

November 3, 2007

Charlottesville Area Riding Therapy is a program that brings therapeutic horseback riding to people with disabilities. Those students got a chance to show off their skills in the annual CART horse show on Saturday.

Some of these students are getting physical therapy by learning how to ride these horses. But for many, the emotional benefits are really therapeutic for many of these students.

Emily Cohen has been waiting for this day for the last year. Saturday, she rode her horse, Flash. She was one of 25 students who rode in the fourth annual CART horse show.

"We have other students who were in wheelchairs or have trouble walking, and they are able to do things on the horse that they couldn't do if they were on the ground," says CART instructor Sarah Daly. "They play tag; they play baseball; they play basketball."

On Saturday, they rode at the Fried Farm in Crozet, cheered on by family and friends.

Emily Cohen's mother says Emily worked very hard at her lessons, and the horse show is to reward her and all the people participating.

"They start off very shy, but as they progress, they start to get self-confidence," Daly says.

After a year of training, the horse show is a time for the students to shine.

Organizers say they're looking for volunteers, donations and equipment to keep their program running.

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