United Way volunteers learn about equine therapy

| 01 Oct 2015 | 01:52

— On Sept. 12, 16 dedicated volunteers from United Way participated in the Day of Caring by lending at hand at GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center in Milford.

As a small non-profit organization staffed mainly by volunteers, GAIT needed the assistance in sprucing up the pastures and riding arenas as we prepare for winter classes.

Day of Caring volunteers weeded the flower beds and gardens where GAIT grows food for both people and horses such as zucchini and oats. They re-aligned the stone labyrinth were horses and riders can walk to increase balance and concentration. Volunteers raked the pastures and the sand floor of the indoor arena. They re-painted the “trotting poles” cleaned the hay feeder and thoroughly washed all water and feed buckets of the ten equines utilized in the therapeutic programs.

GAIT’s executive director Martha Dubensky showed the volunteers a new instructional video about therapeutic riding which will be used to train new GAIT volunteers. She explained how volunteers can help with the different types of equine-related therapy utilized at GAIT such as therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, equine facilitated learning, equine facilitated psychotherapy, vocational training and equine services for veterans.