Education & Agriculture

By Kay Langenhorst
Executive Director, Chakota TRC

TrentonHeidiBenTop: Trenton Elementary held a coin drive for Read Across America Week. Grades pre-K to third collected coins to donate to Chakota! Over the course of just one week they raised $1,426.73 β€” all from pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters; no paper money! The class shown with Dave and Kay raised the largest amount. Bottom: Chakota's new program director Heidi Mueller and Ben are becoming friends fast.    It’s been a long, cold and wet winter this year, but spring is finally here. There is a slight green hue out in the pasture and the horses are starting to shed their winter coats. They are going to need a lot of brushing to help them get rid of it all. The horses have all started their spring training and just like our Cardinals, they will be ready to go on opening day which is tentatively set for May 7. 
    Everyone is feeling the excitement of the beginning of Chakota Therapeutic Riding Center's 14th year. Chakota is located at 6248 Wesclin Road in Germantown.

Why choose therapeutic horseback riding?
    Therapeutic riding provides healthy exercise to individuals with special needs by allowing them to participate in the sport of horseback riding in a success-oriented environment.
    Many measurable therapeutic gains come without the rider even being aware of being in therapy. The benefits are not only physical in nature or reserved for individuals with physical disabilities. 
    Each rider has personal goals and each session's lessons have been designed to build on each other. Riders needs are determined and Chakota utilizes up to three volunteers to assist them on their adventure to learn new skills, build confidence and so much more.

What is ground work?
    There's more to what Chakota does than just getting on a horse. Some of the magic happens right on the ground. Here are a few different ways Chakota participants can interact with horses without spending time in the saddle:
    Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is an experiential learning approach that promotes the development of life skills for educational, professional and personal goals through equine-assisted activities.
    In an EAL setting, the experiential approach combines equine and human interaction that is guided by a planned learning experience to meet the identified goals or desires of the participant(s).

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