“Breaking Free is a dream of mine and my husband’s [Bryan Lake]. It’s a mission in our lives.” Said Linda Lake, Executive Director of the Therapeutic Riding Center.
A love of horses and an interest in the benefits of therapeutic riding were the two things that came together for Lake in the early stages of the program. Lake explained, “It took three years to get it up and running because of all the legal aspects of it and just to pull everything together.”
According to Lake, sixteen horses of all different breeds and sizes offer students many therapeutic benefits. This is all due to their strong ability to understand what each of the riders feel on a daily basis.
The non-profit organization is certified by Path International. Lake said they offer two different programs. The newest one, Horses for Heroes, began in May and is specifically for the Veterans of Muskingum and Guernsey County. Gordon McIntire served our Country for nine years and is already experiencing the benefits. He said, “Just getting the horse prepared to go out and then coming out here and going to work with that horse is, you know, you’re creating a bond. I know for guys like me that’s important.”
Therapeutic riding sessions for those with special needs and emotional challenges are also offered. Rae Boyd, mother of Amy Boyd who is a student at Breaking Free said she has already noticed improvements in her daughter just since last fall. “It allows her to be able to sit up on her own.” Explained Boyd, “One day I found her with her legs beside her, both of them, pushing herself up to a sitting position and shes not done that before.”
Lake said the organization began their capital campaign this spring and they are hoping raise four hundred thousand dollars. “The land that we’re standing on was donated and we have nine acres.” She shared, “….our big dream is a year from now to have a brand new center here and bring our programs back to one property.”
The stable will contain and indoor arena, thirty stalls, a great room, offices and bathrooms. Lake’s goal is to have a structure with a roof by the fall of 2015. She said a campaign manager, donors and sponsors are all still needed for the program so that they can continue to flourish in the years to come.
Lake said, “If people were to be able to help, [if] the generosity would come. For us, it would be everything.”
If you would like to donate to Breaking Free, you can do so via their website: http://www.breakingfreeriding.org/default.html
You can also send a donation through the mail:
Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center Inc.
Office /Day Camps
2795 N Moose Eye Rd.
Norwich, Ohio 43767