Santa Visits Carousel Ranch
Photos by Austin Dave
About Carousel Ranch | Equestrian Therapy for Disabled Children
Imagine a Teenage Girl confined to a wheelchair being lifted onto the back of a horse. For the first time in her life, she will know what it feels like to walk. Take a Blond-Haired Little Boy… who had a stroke before he was born and has limited use of his right arm and leg. Watch him balance himself atop a chestnut mare. Could his hand be made strong enough, to hold the handlebars of a bicycle, or catch a ball, or clutch a crayon to draw a picture for his daddy? Carousel Ranch… is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing developmental therapeutic and recreational programs for disabled and disadvantaged children through horses. Established in July of 1997, this exciting concept in equestrian therapy combines vaulting (gymnastics on a moving horse) and therapeutic riding (both English and Western), resulting in an exceptional goal orientated program for special needs children.
The goals and benefits are different for every child, depending on their individual needs. The movement of the horse causes an inherent response from the child, relaxing muscles that are tight, increasing tone in muscles that are weak, building balance, coordination and control, which in turn enables children to use hands and arms, sit, stand and walk.