WASHOE VALLEY, NV (KOLO) The N.E.A.T facility is located in Washoe Valley where currently 35 students from as young as four to more than 50 years of age come every week to work with therapy horses.
The clients may be recommended by medical professionals, or they may seek out the help on their own.
Some insurance plans pay for the clients.
Others benefit with the help of a scholarship program.
According to those who participate in the program, everyone is treated the same, and the changes within the clients themselves become apparent in no time at all.
“I have pretty bad anxiety, and I can barely speak to strangers, and now I can speak to strangers without my best friend around,’ say Annabele Shorts, a rider who has been with the program for about three months.
Jamie Shakespeare and Twila Way say their son has shown great improvement not just with his riding, but his interaction with the horses as well as people around him.
“Bambi has really worked with him on the kind of pressure you use with the horse,” says Twila. “If you go up and yell at the horse and demand the horse do something, it is not going to work. So there’s an understanding. It is the same with people. You have to use those kind words. You have got to build that relationship you know to be able to see a response, and the communication you want. That has definietly been a key,’ she says.
For the first time N.E.A.T and the For Kids Foundation is organizing a fundraiser on Saturday September 7th at Bartley Ranch in Reno.
Money raised will go towards the scholarship program, so even more clients can take advantage of the special bond between horse and rider.
“We have three local entertainers…we’ve got local food vendors,” says Annie Goni-Stewart with For Kids Foundation. “We also have the Drink Doctor who will be a lot of fun for our libations. There are some really terrific raffle prizes as well,” she says.