Riding Center Prepares for Veteran Riding Program

Related Story

COLUMBIA- Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center said its veteran's horseback riding program will continue this summer. It started the program two summers ago and the organization said it has had success with the program in helping veterans both physically and emotionally. The program is called Horses for Heroes. Veterans who live at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital pile into a bus and head to Cedar Creek Thursday afternoon to ride for an hour. The program runs for eight weeks. One veteran and his wife even travel from Fort Leonard Wood every week because they've had such a great experience with the program.

For many of the veterans, they grew up riding horses and being around animals so Cedar Creek Founder, Karen Grindler, said riding horses reminds them of their childhood. Grindler said getting them out of their wheelchair for a breath of fresh air is great for the veterans. Connie Crumpton is an occupational therapist and also a certified therapeutic riding instructor at Cedar Creek. She said it "helps them touch base with a simpler time in their life, a more peaceful time, and a joyous time."

Crumpton said the movement of the horse allows the veterans to use muscles they don't use often, which strengthens their core. This leads to better breathing and just all around better health.

The next eight-week Horses for Heroes begins on June 6th. Grindler said they are looking for volunteers and if you'd like to help you can contact her at (573) 875-8556. The volunteer training is on June 4th.