Lexington, SC (WLTX) - An organization is using the movement of horses to help build muscle and increase communication skills among kids with a variety of disabilities.
"We work with handicap people and have lots of very special horses," said Corky Dyer with the Lexington Dreamriders. "There is the social aspect where they have to interact with the volunteers. Some of them can't walk and the movement of the horses pelvis moves their pelvis and makes them use the muscles you'd use when you walk."
Dyer started the Dreamriders in 1998 after her own encounter with a therapeutic horse.
"We have our own special needs child," said Dyer. "He's 31 years old now but he was our inspiration because he really, really loved to ride and it benefited him so much."
To make the training fun, the group has riders play games like throwing things from the horse and navigating through a line of cones.
"Some of our riders come to us and they're not successful in other sports. They can't play baseball, they can't play soccer, but they can ride a horse," said Jennifer Stoudemire, the main instructor at the farm. "There's a bond they create with the horse. And there's something in the horses movement that really makes it work. Sometimes there is that 'wow' moment. But, there's that little bit; that rider said 'whoa' today or that rider said 'walk on' today and that was really cool."