Learn about hippotherapy at open house

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A Steps To Your Dreams patient sits atop one of the foundation’s four therapy horses. The non-profit organization provides treatment intervention to individuals with disabilities.
A Steps To Your Dreams patient sits atop one of the foundation’s four therapy horses. The non-profit organization provides treatment intervention to individuals with disabilities.

(Posted May 8, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

For a chance to see how horses can help children with disabilities, the public is invited to attend an open house on May 16 at the Steps To Your Dreams Foundation facility near South Charleston.

Set for 3 to 6 p.m., the event will include tours of the foundation’s new in-patient clinic and indoor arena, activities for children, snacks, and 10-minute demonstrations every half hour from 3:30 to 5:30.

“We want the community to come and see what we do,” said Amanda Shearer, Steps To Your Dreams founder.

Established in 2008, the 501(c)(3) organization provides physical, occupational and speech therapy to individuals with disabilities by using horses as a treatment intervention, known as hippotherapy, along with traditional therapy interventions.

A horse’s movements stimulate a patient’s senses and help patients to improve their trunk strength and control, balance, posture, endurance, motor skills, respiratory control and attention skills.

Steps To Your Dreams serves patients who have autism or Aspberger’s, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, genetic disorders, sensory integration disorders, complications caused by traumatic brain injury or stroke, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, scoliosis or spina bifida. Most of the foundation’s patients are children.

“We have worked with patients as young as 6 weeks old up to 16 years old,” Shearer said.

The foundation provides its services with no cost to clients’ families, thanks to community support, grant writing and fundraising events. Upcoming fundraisers include a golf scramble set for June 14 at Locust Hills Golf Course in Springfield and a 5K run, walk and bike ride on Sept. 27 at Buck Creek State Park. For details, go to www.steptoyourdreams.org.

Steps To Your Dreams is located at 6276 Plattsburg Road in South Charleston. For more information or directions to the facility, contact Amanda Shearer at (937) 717-6741 or ashearer@stepstoyourdreams.org.

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