The Brightside: Delaware organization uses horses to heal humans

MILTON, Del. – In Milton, Delaware, something incredible is happening.

Every day, people visit Southern Delaware Therapeutic Riding to reconnect and realign.

Natalie Garbutt, an instructor said, “It’s therapeutic emotionally and physically.”

For some, horse back riding helps build up core strength. At the same time, it provides a sense of emotional relief.

Garbutt said, “Working with a horse is a lot less intimidating then working with another person so you’re getting that team work socialization aspect but with an animal.”

Training with a horse teaches riders friendship and team work.

Garbutt said, “You are not just riding, you are working with them when you are riding, so it’s that team mentality that’s really great.”

None of this would be possible without SDTR’s unique arena.

Garbutt said, “All those tools in there, all those toys, they do serve a purpose encouraging riders to improve their fine motor movement. Grasping things, reaching, stretching, just something like shooting a basketball off the back of a horse, that’s a lot of core strength involved there.”

All of the horses at SDTR are hand selected and some of them have pretty impressive backgrounds.

Garbutt said, “A lot of the horses we have, they have past jobs or careers if you will. Leon here, he used to be a show horse. A lot of our horses that we have used to be show horses trail horses race horses.”

More impressive than the horses, perhaps, are the volunteers and instructors who selflessly donate their time to better the lives of others…but these instructors say that seeing the change in their riders make all of their hard work and dedication worth it.

Garbutt said, “To me, that translation to their life outside of the barn where they can see the benefits, to me, that is the biggest reward.”

Southern Delaware Therapeutic Riding will be hosting a Barn Dance on October 19th to help them raise money so they can continue providing therapeutic services.

They will also be hosting an Open House on October 12th where people can learn how to volunteer or even become a rider themselves.

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Categories: Brightside, Delaware, Local News