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Healing with horses

Published: Sat, July 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

Healing with horses
Ginger Bulkley became a certified instructor with NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) when a best friend, Karen Kanotz, Special Education Administrator of Struthers City Schools attended a seminar on the benefits of riding a horse to facilitate proper development of young muscles in children with certain disabilities. Kanotz asked Bulkley, who had been around horses all her life, if she would become a therapeutic riding instructor. This is now her fourth year as an instructor at On Angel's Wings Therapeutic Riding Center, and she said she has witnessed many "miracles." One was with a boy who was not able to speak. "He would only make a humming sound," she said. "By the end of his first year with us, he was actually saying 'walk on' and 'whoa' to get his horse to move forward and stop. The first day that his speech was distinguishable there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I feel that what we do with these majestic creatures is just as important, if not more so, than any medication that could be administered. We look at the whole child, not just the disability. In doing so, we have a broader spectrum of healing." Bulkley, who is the co-founder of the center, along with Kanotz, said they are currently looking for land, and doing fund-raisers to put up a building, so they can move to Mahoning County. She welcomes anyone who would like to volunteer to help with any aspect of the program, including fund-raising and PR.
XOn Angel's Wings Therapeutic Riding Center, State Rt. 170, East Palestine, OH (330) 702-8561

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