Texas Tech's Therapeutic Riding Center receives Gypsy Vanner Horse
The Texas Tech University Therapeutic Riding Center (TTRC) was awarded a Gypsy Vanner horse through a Facebook contest this summer. After more than two months in Lubbock, the horse, which riders chose to name Gypsy, is already impacting the program and its members.
Gypsy was donated to TTRC by the Gypsy Gift Organization through LexLin Gypsy Ranch. Premier Accredited Centers with Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH, Intl.) were eligible for the contest, said Tangi Irwin, TTRC program director.
"We were really excited about receiving the horse," she said. "It will add additional spots to our schedule that we couldn't have done before." Gypsy was presented to TTRC on July 26 at the Gift Presentation in Tennessee and was shipped to the center a week later, Irwin said.
Gypsy will play a part in the lives of many patients as well as be able to improve the quality of life of those she comes in contact with, said Lisa Grant, a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor. Gypsy has adapted to Lubbock and gets along with the other members of the herd, especially Queen, the center's Norwegian Fjord, Grant said.
The TTRC is a Premier Accredited Center through PATH, Intl., Irwin said. The center provides services to about 70 child and adult riders who have a variety of disabilities and special needs using 13 horses and seven certified therapeutic riding instructors.
Hippotherapy sessions involve an occupational, physical or speech therapist who uses a horse to reach the therapy goals the therapists have for their rider, while therapeutic riding involves incorporating a rider's therapeutic goals with the skills needed to ride a horse, Irwin said. This course is taught by certified therapeutic riding instructors.
The center is located at the Texas Tech Equestrian Center and has partnerships with therapists from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Lubbock Early Childhood Intervention and private therapists, Irwin said.
"We hope to continue to offer therapeutic riding and hippotherapy sessions as well as add new programs in the future," she said. "We would like to continue to grow both in number of horses and number of riders."
Written by Emily Gardner
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1010NM14 / Editor's Note: For full text of the Tech Office of Communications & Marketing story, go to http://today.ttu.edu/2014/10/therapeutic-riding-center-receives-gypsy-vanner-horse/
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