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Always a victory ride: Centaur Stride continues therapeutic, recreational efforts

Derek on Eli, with Jean as leader and Scott and Tyler as sidewalkers.

Since Ancient Greece riding horses has been called “The Sport of Kings”.

On the first Saturday of May, the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs was an exciting photo finish won by Mystic Dan.

But here in Sherman, horses provide a life changing victory for hundreds of children and adults with and without disabilities at Centaur Stride.

Equine therapy has long been used to treat a variety of physical ailments including cerebral palsy, behavior tics, motor control issues and coordination issues.

Centaur Stride has been a therapeutic and recreational riding facility since 1993 for all ages.

Matt working on stretching, with Tyler, instructor, on his horse, Dude.

There are a number of riding programs that combine therapy and recreation to develop strength, flexibility, balance coordination, posture and most importantly self confidence.

The relationship that develops between the rider and his horse brings a sense of acceptance and self esteem working together.

Lessons are put together for each individual rider’s abilities working toward a solid communication between the rider and their horse.

The riding lessons are located in the indoor arena or on an outdoor trail with well trained horses.

The mission of Centaur Stride according to its President Claudia A. Monroe is to provide an inclusive environment for persons with and without disabilities. A special effort is made to include the families of the individuals with disabilities who are receiving services in the program.

Elianna carries her saddle to put on her horse as she gets her ready to ride.

The lessons are subsidized by fund-raisers, donations and sponsors. Riders are charged a small fee and they are by appointment only.

Centaur Stride is open year round and volunteers are encouraged to stop by and see what is available to help. The agency is located at 8488 Jones Road. Its website is www.centaurstride.org and it can be reached by phone at 716-326-4318.

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