Monday, November 16, 2009

"Ride To Walk" Therapeutic Horse Therapy Program Loses Government Funding

I wanted to share a story that aired on Sacramento's Channel 10 this morning about Kayla's Horse Therapy, "Ride To Walk". Kayla was one of two kids highlighted in the article and video. "Ride To Walk" lost it's government funding recently due to budget cuts as the government feels this is a recreational activity and not therapy. It's such a shame as it has helped Kayla so much, not only to gain confidence but to get stronger and to begin talking. The therapeutic affects of horse therapy are incredible and programs like this should never be cut. What is the government thinking! I guess not too many government officials have kids with disabilities because if they did, programs like this would be supported.

Source article:

LINCOLN, CA -- A program that helps children with disabilities through horse-riding needs some help of its own. "Ride to Walk" in Lincoln has experienced large budget cuts over the past year, which has greatly reduced the number of children it can help.

The parents of the kids enrolled in the program say it's improving their lives exponentially. Lisa Vittek has a 4-year-old daughter with severe muscular dystrophy and says the therapy makes her daughter more limber.

"They told us that she wouldn't walk and every day she defies the odds," said Vittek, "We like to prove the doctors wrong and she's really good at that."

Rachelle Bedford has a 10-year-old daughter who can't talk or walk.

"Most professionals think she won't change," said Bedford, " But she's changing all the time."

Executive Director Dr. Kris Corn founded the program over 2 decades ago.

"Horses have an incredible ability to produce the movement that you and I produce when we walk," said Corn.

She says riding leads to improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscle strength.

"The more we can actually get function from them, the less they will be dependant on the government when they get older," said Corn.

Dependance on the government hasn't been working for "Ride to Walk". The program saw its state funding dwindle to almost nothing over the past year, forcing families to pay more to ride and many out of the program altogether.

"Families who are struggling with kids who have needs need programs like this to help them and to help the whole family," said Vittek.

Dr. Corn is now looking for donations and sponsorships for the kids and the horses.

"A child should not be left in a wheelchair most of their days," said Corn.

If you want to sponsor a child or help out at Ride to Walk, you can email:

By: Anne Makovec,

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