Blue Ribbon Riders therapy participants to show progress

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A program that offers therapy to youngsters will allow them to demonstrate their progress Saturday -- on horseback.

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Blue Ribbon Riders, a nonprofit, therapeutic riding program, will hold a demonstration day 1-4 p.m. Friday at Maple Knoll Farms, in Grovetown.

Maple Knoll is the fourth home for Blue Ribbon Riders since the program was started in 1996, said Claudia Morin, the program's coordinator and owner of the stables.

"Blue Ribbon Riders is a therapeutic riding program for disabled children," said Morin, an occupational therapist who has used therapy horses since 1992.

"We use the horses' movement as the primary therapy for helping them with their movement, improving mobility, balance, posture, as well as working on psycho-social skills like interaction with others, communication, and perceptual motor types of activity."

In weekly sessions, Morin said, children work one-on-one with a horse and therapist as an addition to regular therapy in area clinics.

Their session at Blue Ribbon Riders, Morin said, "provides a different opportunity in a community setting for them to continue working on the same type skills they do in the clinic. But it's more fun and they don't think it's therapy."

The children holding demonstrations Saturday will be able to show what they've learned during the organization's fall program.

"This gives grandparents, parents and siblings a chance to have a family fun day," Morin said.

The day's events include a used tack sale and a silent auction to help raise money for the nonprofit program, with volunteers and students from Augusta Technical College's occupational therapist assistant program staffing arts and crafts booths, a marshmallow cooking pit and other activities.

Maple Knoll Farms is located on Reynolds Farm Road, off Old Berzelia Road, just outside Grovetown off Harlem-Grovetown Road.



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