MINDEN, NV (KOLO) - You've heard of physical therapy, but what about with the use of horses? That's exactly what you'll see in Minden, at Kids and Horses. The nonprofit works with children and adults battling disabilities. Most services to help these individuals are almost 100 percent covered by Medicaid.
For licensed therapist Erin Vaillancourt, there is no greater sense of satisfaction, as she explains, “It's amazing, it's so effective and its just rewarding being able to see that progress and it's actually… I see more progress here than I do in traditional therapy settings."
We were allowed in on a recent session with Amy, who battles neuro-muscular impairments that affect her balance. “She came here three years ago and has made great gains in those three years,” Vaillaincourt tells us. She sees almost 10 clients a week, ranging in age from 2 to 71, adding, “We're working on higher level balance, like the balance beam, hop scotch, jump rope."
One of the therapists' best assets... their co-workers... these magnificent therapy horses. "They can feel everything that the client is experiencing and if the client is getting nervous they'll tense up and these horses have to accommodate to that, and they've been trained to not run and stay calm during that and they do a great job; we hardly ever have spooks,” Vaillancourt says.
On six acres, Kids and Horses has a sensory path. While riding the horse, clients can practice putting rings on cones, side sitting and ball tossing, and even yoga poses. "My sister has Down Syndrome, so that was a main driving force in my life is seeing that. I've been around people with disabilities my entire life,” she details.
Therapy. Synonyms include medicine, remedy, healing. It's clear at this nonprofit both employees and clients receive all that and more.
There are open spots for adult and children clients right now at kids and horses, head here to learn more.
Kids and Horses is a 2019 KOLOCares Pillar Partner.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019