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Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

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Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Article by Arkansas 911 News Writer Amanda Goodman

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center is bringing hippotherapy, or equine assisted therapy, to Garland County!

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

After their son Aiden was born with Down Syndrome, Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center founders Katja and Zach Summerlin saw the need for adding equine assisted therapy services to Hot Springs and the greater Garland County Area.  Garland County has approximately 14,000 children under the age of 18 with at least one or more disabilities and over 20% of the entire population living with one or more disabilities.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center’s Founders Katja and Zach Summerlin and their children Sophia and Aiden.

STRC is located on 35 acres, a little over a mile down Sunshine Road from Highway 70W.  This past weekend they opened their gates to show guests their vision for their 2019-2020 goals.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center’s main gate on Sunshine Road.

Guests were invited to come by the facility to meet some of the STRC Board of Directors, visit with the founders, and see a therapy demonstration first hand.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

STRC’s welcome tent for the event.

Wally’s World and Serving Hands Catering provided beverages and delicious treats for guests to enjoy while taking a walking self-guided tour of their vision boards that were arranged around the grounds.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Wally’s World provided beverages for guests to enjoy during the event.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Serving Hands Catering provided guests with kettle corn and other delicious snacks.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Therapists from KidSource Therapy help guests see the advantages of having hippotherapy in Garland County.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY
Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY
Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY
Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

STRC’s phases for their facility construction.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

STRC’s current sponsors: Arvest Bank, First Security Bank, Relyance Bank, Southern Bancorp, and board members: Carol Freeland, Dawn Cattaneo, J. Michael Tuohey, Ali Rush, Jenna Joubert, Dr. Renee P. McGraw, John Stobaugh, Mark Howard, Michael Evans, Dr. Emily Hollingsworth Clem, Vicki Hinz, and Dennis Berry.

During the event Carol Freeland, STRC’s Chair Person, and Katja introduced themselves to the guests and told a little bit more of the background of how STRC came to be.  Sarah from KidSource Therapy talked guests through the live demonstration of a therapy session.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Pictured from left to right: Katja Summerlin, Carol Freeland, Sophia Summerlin, and therapists from KidSource.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Guests watching the therapy demonstration.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Sophia demonstrating some of the therapy exercises.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Sophia showing that therapy sessions can be fun.

With a doctor’s clearance, children as young as 2 years old will be able to ride during their therapy session.  Each therapy session will be tailored to the client.  A session can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

There are currently no therapy services of this kind in the Hot Springs area.  STRC’s Board of Directors is looking for additional board members, volunteers, advocates, fundraisers and members of the community to help support their cause.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

Examples of how donated money and goods will help STRC.

Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center – GARLAND COUNTY

STRC is also looking for people who can volunteer their time. Children as young as 8 years old can help, too.

For more information on Sunshine Therapeutic Riding Center or to find out how you can be a part of this great service to Garland County, CLICK HERE to visit their website or HERE for their Facebook page.

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