Poway’s Hidden Haven for Therapeutic Horse Riding
Excerpt from The Epoch Times
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Founded in 2014, Ride Above Disability provides therapeutic horseback riding lessons to those with disabilities and is open to people of all ages. Starting as volunteers at other ranches, co-founders Allie Sarnataro and Katie Cram used their passion and experience to create their own therapeutic horse-riding organization. Their enthusiasm for this mission is evident and contagious.
“Every day is like a miracle,” Sarnataro added. The students “accomplish so many things every time they come. We’ve had students who said their first words on the back of a horse.”
Lead instructor Rebecca Palter first learned about therapeutic riding while working as a personal care assistant for a child with a severe brain injury.
“He had tried everything else, music therapy, speech therapy—everything,” Palter recalled, “but things clicked for him at therapeutic riding that weren’t elsewhere.”
Miracles are abundant among the volunteers and instructors at Ride Above Disability, Palter said, recalling a student who defied all odds.
“We had a student that started when he was five. His parents were told that their child would never walk or speak and that he would never be able to do anything [alone]. Through our program, he learned to walk, trot, and canter on his own. He gained independence.”