Friday, July 19, 2013

Bikes Blues and BBQ Supports Horses for Healing

Horses for Healing was established as Rocky Creek Horses Help in 1993, when we launched a pilot project to provide therapeutic riding for a group of 15 special needs children in Rogers, Arkansas. A lot has happened since then.

We became the first therapeutic riding center in Arkansas to be accredited by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association and today are one of only two Premier Accredited facilities in the state. In order to serve more children, we moved to a larger facility in nearby Bentonville in 2004, and a year later changed our name to Horses for Healing.

Now working with hundreds of children with special needs a year, we are the largest center in Arkansas and among the largest in all of North America.

Our growth has certainly been dramatic, but is not yet complete. There are an estimated 10,000 children with special needs in Northwest Arkansas and Horses for Healing remains committed to serving as many of them as possible.

None of this of course would be at all possible without the vision, dedication and ongoing support of Harriette Habern, the Founder of Horses for Healing. In fact, a retired special education teacher and long-time horsewoman, Horses for Healing is the realization of Harriette’s lifelong dream to help children with special needs through therapeutic riding.

Horses for Healing is a nonprofit therapeutic riding center for individuals with special needs in Northwest Arkansas, run by a board of directors. In addition to our therapeutic program, Horses for Healing also offers a Sports Riding Program providing advanced equestrian training and activities for independent riders that includes group lessons, camps and competitions.

 Located conveniently west of Bentonville, we are an established full-service boarding and training facility with 23 stalls, rolling pastures, a covered arena, and an outdoor arena, covering a total of 75 acres. At Horses for Healing, our participants find success in the saddle and in life. Call to schedule a visit to our facility and you will find out just how rewarding it can be to be a part of our team at Horses for Healing!Horseback riding is a proven therapeutic technique for children with a variety of physical, emotional and mental disabilities.

How does therapeutic riding help? Physically, the gentle and rhythmic motion of a horse's gait increases the rider's muscle strength while also improving coordination, balance and flexibility. For children with emotional or mental disabilities, the special bond formed with a horse can lead to increased self-confidence; enhanced self-esteem; improved decision-making and social skills; increased patience, and a strong sense of achievement.

Among our many accomplishments, we take particular pride in the many "firsts" that we've seen at Horses for Healing. These include the beaming grin on the face of a child who doesn't smile. The gripping hug of a child who doesn't trust. A first word spoken. Or that first halting step ever taken.

Therapeutic riding should only be considered in cooperation with medical professionals and each rider must have a physician's approval to participate. Special attention also is given to input from therapists, teachers and other professionals involved in a child's overall care.

Horses for Healing couldn't exist without the support of our friends and community. We are a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization. We do not receive funding from state or federal agencies, nor are we a United Way recipient. We are supported primarily with gifts from generous friends like you, grants, and fundraising events. While a nominal fee of $25 per lesson is charged to students (the actual cost is over $100 per lesson), a large number of students are unable to pay this fee. It is Horses for Healing’s policy to make therapeutic riding available regardless of ability to pay so your donation keeps area children “in the saddle.”

To find out more about Horses for Healing visit their website:

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Horses for Healing NWA
14673 Daniels Road
Bentonville, AR 72712