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Thieves Steal Horseback Riding Equipment Used For Children, Veterans And Others With Special Needs

By Web staff

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    LONG BEACH, California (KCAL) — Children and other clients who receive special treatment at Dream Catcher of LA Therapeutic Riding Center will have to put their therapy on hold because thieves made off with some of the center’s equipment.

The horses at the therapeutic riding center help children, adults and veterans with cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities through horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities.

However, on Thursday, it’s the center’s volunteers who need some comforting after thieves broke in and stole their tractor, equipment and supplies.

“All of the saddles, all of the horses bridles, bits, everything we specially fitted to those horses. It’s the lifeblood of our center,” said the center’s executive director, Joan Blank.

She said the burglary happened some time between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday.

“We had two saddles on each rack. This was a lot of the kids saddles right here,” Blank said.

The center has nine therapy horses who serve more than 50 participants. Unfortunately, because of the thefts, the sessions are on hold until they can get some of their equipment replaced.

“We have a waitlist of probably about 30 to 40. There’s such a need for this service. It’s not easy to find trained instructors,” Blank told CBSLA.

Long Beach Police are investigating and looking for security video in the area that may help identify the suspects.

Blank said she had something she wanted the thieves to know.

“The equipment you took serves children and adults with special needs, veterans that have PTSD, first responders.”

In the meantime, the center is hoping the public can help with donations, so they can once again saddle up.

“Thank goodness the horses are okay. That’s our saving grace,” Blank said.

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