Lauren Hamons smiled as she watched her son Landen, 2, ride a pony while being led by volunteers at Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Mansfield.
“Hi,” Landen called out as he circled the track.
“He was born six weeks early,” Lauren explained. “He was behind developmentally and not talking early. He’s speaking so much more, moving his arms more and is sitting up straight.”
Helping those of all ages who need therapy is the mission of the center, which serves people from Crawford, Richland, Morrow, Knox and Ashland counties.
The group is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
“We started out with 35 students and four horses,” board member Tammie Schluter said. “Now we have 96 students and 14 horses. We want to provide a service for the community.”
Schluter said the center works with those of all ages who need therapy.
“We’re looking to provide therapy in a non-clinical environment,” she said.
“Through play we encourage them to learn equitation commands,” Instructor-in-Training Renee Deschner said. “(Working with horses) helps work their cores, teamwork, emotions and their body parts.”
And clients and volunteers alike are excited about the service.
“This has helped my son learn how to walk,” said Mallory Westerheide of Lexington, as she watched her son Micah, 1.
Mansfield resident Larry Doktor said he enjoys volunteering at the center.
“I have a great time working with kids,” he said.
The center will hold an Oktoberfest fund-raiser noon-midnight Oct. 3 at Snow Trails in Mansfield. The event will include a German car show from noon-5 p.m.
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