A youth clinic in Idaho Falls is asking for a little help.
Two women are single-handedly running the Innovative Therapy Riding Program out of a rented stable.
That stable is getting sold and time is ticking to get a new place.
Grayson Wegener, 12, was born with cerebral palsy.
There are a lot of things the fragile, wheelchair-bound boy can’t do, but horseback riding is an exception.
“He loves it,” said his mom Becky.
Grayson’s little body is tense most of the time.
If you look carefully, you can see him loosen up as he rides around.
“His arms have become much more relaxed. The tone in his muscles is not as tight,” said Becky.
The horse mimics the movements that Grayson would make while he is walking, so he strengthens his core muscles and doesn’t even know it.
Instructor Kelley Chaffee said the past six months with the riding program have changed the lifestyle of the Wegener family. For the first time ever, Grayson can hold himself up.
Although youth with physical setbacks can get a lot out of the program, horses can work wonders for children with emotional issues.
Kelley has nearly 50 clients who struggle with everything from anger management to autism.
“One of our clients is autistic. He would look at you and he would plug his ears. Now he talks to us,” said Kelley.
Kelley and her business partner need a little help to stay afloat.
Horses are expensive and the barn they’re renting has been sold.
“We will be in here for another summer. After that, we really have nowhere to go,” said Kelley.
They need a place where Grayson and their dozens of other clients can continue to ride.
“They are wonderful. They have been absolutely great,” said Becky.
“It’s very rewarding to watch these kids come out of their shell and progress,” said Kelley.
Innovative Therapeutic Riding will have a fundraiser at The Loft Reception Center on Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m.
It’s $10 to attend.
There will be a dinner, dance, silent auction and a raffle to help the program keep running.
You can find more information at https://www.facebook.com/ITRP2012.