Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —
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.
Therapeutic riding is recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association. Research shows that students who participate in therapeutic riding can experience physical, emotional and mental rewards.
The group’s website at www.equistartheranch.org has photos, brochures, and all information needed to become a part of the jewel in the community. Volunteers are always welcome and no experience is necessary. There are opportunities to help, which don’t even involve horse contact, such as fund-raising.