Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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July 19, 2013

Equi*Star the Ranch open house offers family fun

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — In addition to the pulled pork dinner, visitors can buy cold drinks, hot dogs and baked goods throughout the day. Bring a chair or blanket, or grab a hay bale, and plan on spending an afternoon on the beautiful ranch. Admission and parking are free, making it an affordable family outing.

Many people still do not know what the Equi*Star program is about, or how they can become involved and support it. If you come out to the open house, you’ll meet the folks who hold this volunteer organization together.

Equi*Star was founded in 1994 by Miriam Smith. Miriam was a returning college student majoring in human services when she interned at a therapeutic riding center. This experience inspired her to launch her very own program specifically for people with disabilities.

The program started with one horse, a handful of volunteers, and a few riders. Equi*Star called a few local stables home before an area was purchased in Burt. With a lot of community support, the wooded area with hardly any access and a little old barn began to morph into the property you see today. 

Every year, Equi*Star seeks the expertise of volunteers as they continue to improve our facilities. An indoor arena was added and allows lessons to continue in all kinds of weather. More pasture fencing was installed to corral the growing number of therapy horses needed to fulfill their needs.

For a person with disabilities, therapeutic horseback riding is much more than just riding around the ring. It is a way to discover a whole new world of adventure, freedom and responsibility, dignity and achievement. It provides an overwhelming sense of accomplishment for everyone involved, the riders, volunteers, parents and instructors.

Equi*Star is a non-profit organization that enables individuals of all ages with special needs to experience the thrill of horseback riding. The mission has been to enrich the lives of people with disabilities through equine related activities. They provide therapeutic riding lessons for children and adults with varying conditions, such as Cerebral Palsy, developmental delays, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Trisomy 21, anxiety, and much more.

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