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St. Augustine Horse Therapy Ranch Sees Remarkable Progress In Riders

2:09 PM, Mar 9, 2011   |    comments
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A group of children with a variety of special needs are seeing remarkable improvements to their health, their parents say - all because of a local horse therapy center.

Haven Horse Ranch, in St. Augustine, has 20 horses used for therapy. The non-profit offers free therapeutic horseback riding services to children and adults with conditions like cerebral palsy and autism.

Margaret Brink has been taking her son, Wyatt, who has cerebral palsy to the ranch for the past six months. "He loves it. He absolutely loves it," she said.

And she has seen improvements in his stability. After, three months of horse therapy, she said her son walked for the first time.

"He took 13 steps. I was in shock. It was incredible," she explained.

Lehman said part of it is science and the other part, is the unexplainable bond between the horse and its rider.  

"We had a young man who was 15-years old who had never spoken, but became so committed to talking to the horse that he spoke his first words to the horse," he said.

As a non-profit, the licensed therapeutic riding center relies heavily on donations. It is currently taking part in Birdies for Charities, a fundraiser through the PLAYERS Championship. 

To learn more about the ranch, how to make a donation and winning prizes, including a trip to Australia, visit www.havenhorseranch.org.

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