The Exchange : Steve Hatfield awarded fourth place in Member Volunteer Challenge

Steve Hatfield awarded fourth place in Member Volunteer Challenge

April 27 046


Centaur Stride is a therapeutic riding center located in a rural setting in western New York.  This organization offers the benefits of hippotherapy to individuals with autism, cerebral palsy, Multiple Sclerosis and to people who have suffered a stroke.  


Founded by Claudia Monroe in 1993, Centaur Stride was the result of a seminar attended by Claudia on Hippotherapy and the Multiple Sclerosis patient.  The attendees of that seminar worked with 24 patients, all with varying degrees of MS. After one week many of those who had come in using wheel chairs were walking with walkers or canes, and those who had come using walkers and canes were able to walk without such devices. This is because horseback riding helps to build up core strength. The act of sitting upright on a horse as it is walking forces a person's body to do certain things. Your core muscles are worked in the act of sitting upright and to maintain one's balance during the gentle swaying motion which one experiences on the back of a walking horse. This strengthens the communication system - also known as the nervous system - using pathways, which do not typically get a lot of use.


Funding is always an issue.  Sixteen horses and a part-time staff require a lot of fundraising.  And as many riders require a person to lead the horse and a side-walker on each side, Centaur Stride uses all of the volunteers that they can get. Volunteers are always welcomed and training is provided. Volunteers are also need as stable cleaners, grant writers, building/grounds maintenance and for horse care.  As with many organizations, Centaur Stride could not afford to operate without the help of volunteers. 


Centaur Stride information:                                                                                                                                                                               

(716) 326-4318


Written by Steve Hatfield at 00:00

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