Robert Pickett

"I am very grateful for the counseling this organization provides for veterans. It has been a great pleasure for me to become acquainted with the horses. The experience has been more satisfying than I expected. It offered me an opportunity to consider my mental health in a different perspective. I appreciate the kindness of all the staff I have encountered. I will recommend this therapy to other veterans.
I have looked forward to my sessions with an anticipation that I usually don't associate with therapy. Working around these wonderful animals has a way of connecting me with nature, allowing me to ignore the internal demons. I thank you all very much for providing me with this adventure."

Donald Barbour

"At just over a year of age my daughter, Ellie was diagnosed with a rare condition known as Cerebellar Hypoplasia. She was very delayed in all of her gross/fine motor skills and speech. Her core area was especially weak. After starting physical therapy over at Carilion, her PT recommended we try something new called, Hippotherapy, and thought my daughter would be a good candidate for this program at Healing Strides.
Ellie was only two at the time and didn’t enjoy it at all at first. It was just a little scary sitting up on the horse. However, we soon noticed HUGE improvements in her core area. All of a sudden our daughter could raise herself to a standing position and maintain balance. She could pull herself up on pieces of furniture that she could never do before. She started using utensils for eating with more proficiency. Not only was she much improved physically, but her speech started to improve as well. There are words and sounds she says while on the horse that we can’t get her to say throughout the rest of the week. It’s as if it wakes her brain up.
Ellie is now three and has been through three sessions of Hippotherapy at Healing Strides. I can say, without a doubt, that it’s the best therapy she does on a weekly basis. It hasn’t just improved her core area and speech, but has given her more independence and confidence that she wouldn’t otherwise have at this point. She now LOVES going to Hippotherapy each week and enjoys riding these beautiful, caring horses that have now become her friends. The staff and volunteers there truly love their job and can never get enough of seeing all of these kids and adults make improvements both physically and mentally. We’re looking forward to our next session starting in the Spring."


Maggie loves the horses and the volunteers! Beyond the joy she finds in riding, there has been wonderful progress in her speech and muscle tone.


I see a huge difference in the weeks that Haley is with the horses and when she misses her lesson. She is calmer and shows more self-confidence when she rides.


Being a part of Healing Strides has been an extraordinary experience. The horses and people are amazing! This is my haven and everyone here is my family. Dewey, my partner, helps me as much as others and this is the best feeling ever! To say the least, my heart belongs to Healing Strides!

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