SWEETWATER COUNTY– One Stride Closer, a therapeutic horse program offered through Sweetwater BOCES, hosted its 4th annual Rider’s Showcase this morning at the Rodeo Arena in Green River.
At the showcase, the program’s students showed off their riding skills to the community.
About One Stride Closer
One Stride Closer promotes physical, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and social skills of students through teaching them to ride a horse and build a relationship with the horses.
The program teaches kids with mobility issues to ride horses and it acts as therapy for these kids. The students learn to direct the horse using the reins, and they are taught to use a calm voice when speaking to the horses.
After getting into the saddle, the students tell the horse to “walk on” to begin the ride.
The Program Offers the Best Therapy Around
Cindy Brandjord, director and instructor of One Stride Closer, said that even walking through the sandy dirt when leading the horses is part of the therapy. Walking through the dirt works the students’ bodies and is beneficial to their physical skills.
Brandjord said the students receive better therapy working with these horses than they would in a therapy office.
The students also build relationships with the horses which helps with their emotional and social skills.
Happy to Show Their Skills
The riders happily showed their riding skills to the community today, waving and smiling at the crowd. Instructors and staff members help lead the horses and stand at the sides of the horse to spot the riders.
After riding for a bit, some of the riders performed their solo ride in which the rider controls the horse by themselves with minimal help from the staff members.