Healing with horses is concept that may seem strange to many. But at 7-Star Therapeutic Riding Center, it's their mission.
7-Star Therapeutic Riding Center is a non-profit organization that uses horses to help those with disabilities. Sunday afternoon a public auction was held to raise funds for the organization. One Amarillo woman knows more than anything how important it is for that financial support.
"My son is Omar Villescas and he's autistic," said Marnia Villescas. She said her son enjoys riding the horses and it's really been helping him with his disability.
"The majority of our clients are children," said Rhonda B. Dittfurth, the Executive Director of the organization. She states that the organization tends to deal with a lot of children and many of them have autism. They also have a program for veterans dealing with Post-traumatic stress disorder. Dittfurth states that the horse helps clients understand how their own behavior affects relationships. Once they understand this, they can make changes within themselves.
"Working with a horse helps re-train the brain and helps these veterans deal with some of the trauma that has caused the PTSD and help them cope with these issues and horse riding does help with that," said Dittfurth.
She also states that community involvement and support is crucial to their up keeping. The organization needs funds to buy hay for the horses, buy feed and even medicine for some of the older horses they have to deal with. But one of their biggest demands is volunteers.
For families like the Villescas that use their services, they truly understand the importance of that support. Villescas smiles knowing her son is doing much better.
"I feel very good about the therapy and for him it's very better," said Villescas. "He's acting more better and confident. More better in himself."