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Tough economy creates difficulties for local therapeutic center

By Dana Molina, Multimedia Journalist/Telemundo Anchor,
Published On: Jun 08 2013 07:19:07 PM CDT

Demanding economy making things difficult for therapeutic center.


The Colorado Springs Therapeutic Riding Center held a fundraiser Saturday to work on an indoor arena, grant scholarships and continue providing services to people with special needs.

The CSTRC at the Mark Reyner Stables offers occupational, speech, and physical therapy to more than 150 children and adults. To do so, they use horses. Riders and their families consider them miracle workers.

"It's a miracle to watch the healing power of a horse to a special needs child," Jane Vlach said.

Vlach's 12 year-old son, Harrison, has been coming to therapy at CSTRC for about five years. And Vlach said she's seen the effect the horses have had on him.

"He is more verbal, he speaks more now," she said. "He never spoke before until he was introduced to the horses."

But providing the services come with a cost, which according to center leaders, have been rising. That's why they host the annual fundraiser.

"A cost to feed a horse has tripled," CSTRC CEO Nancy Harrison said.

She said caring for just one horse costs almost $400 a month, and they have nearly 20 therapy horses at the stables. And more expenses means less money to help riders.

"Our dream when we started Therapeutic Riding Center (was) that any child, any adult, can come to our facility and be able to do their therapy here at no cost," Harrison said. "Unfortunately, with the price of hay and the cost of horses, we do have to charge something for that."

The money that comes from Saturday's fundraiser will go toward giving riders scholarships, insulating an indoor arena, and continuing to provide services. For more information on the center, click here.