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Therapy program needs an additional horse
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A horse’s retirement last fall means Mississippi State University’s Extension Service needs one additional safe, gentle horse for hippotherapy and therapeutic riding sessions.
The MSU Extension Service’s 4-H TEAM (Therapeutic Equine Activity Member) Program is one of two accredited therapeutic programs in Mississippi. The selection criteria for their horses require they be in reasonably good health, have a current Coggins test, and be people friendly and extremely calm.
“These horses have a very special temperament and never seem to tire of their job,” said Mary Riley, TEAM instructor/program coordinator. “The horses that we have were donated by individuals with children who have gone off to college or they were no longer riding their horses and just wanted to find them a good home.”
And a what good home it is, Riley said.
“The horses are loved on and petted by the TEAM volunteers, riders, family members and Extension staff. Our horses Nick, Bo and Bob work Tuesday mornings at the Mississippi Horse Park enabling their riders to become stronger and more independent in mind, body and spirit. The other days they spend in their grass-filled pasture enjoying a life of leisure,” Riley said. “Their health care is closely supervised, and they are kept fit by the TEAM staff, volunteers and MSU’s Animal and Dairy Science Department and College of Veterinary Medicine.”
Before being accepted in the program, the horses are given a trial period where they are introduced to wheelchairs, ramps, balls and other therapy tools used in the program. Anyone who has a horse they would be interested in donating should contact Mary Riley, (662) 325-1695 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.