PASCO, WA - The local non-profit, Therapeutic Riding of Tri-Cities, is looking to expand.
TROT gives people with disabilities an opportunity to expand their physical, social, and mental well-being through horse riding. Horses are intuitive animals, and riding them can help develop emotional intelligence.
Its members are outgrowing their current facility, and looking to acquire land and build an arena. Since it first opened five years ago, it has increased the number of riders to over 100 this year. With an arena, more riders could be accommodated, and lessons held all year around.
One example of someone who benefits from everything TROT has to offer is Noah. Noah was born on the Autism spectrum. Shortly after, he also became blind.
Both of his siblings were also faced with disabilities, and starting from a very young age, attended lessons at TROT.
For Noah and his family, TROT is much more than a stable. When Noah is with his horse, what he feels can only be described as magic, his mother, Jennifer, said.
"You come out here and you get those moments. And you go, 'That's my kid! that's my kid! And you know what he's had to do and what they've all had to do to overcome what they struggle with so much more than I ever had to do growing up," she said.
TROT helps riders develop greater sense of self-confidence, patience, social skills and responsibility. TROT provides therapy for a wide variety of both mental and physical disabilities.
"We had a boy who had a seizure on our horse and that horse just stopped and was just solid, stone. Did not move a muscle. Intuitively, they just know. And they have a way of connecting," TROT Founder, Cynthia MacFarlan said.
There are also treatment programs designed for other groups of people, such as veterans, foster children, and trafficking victims.
TROT is looking for six to ten acres of land. That, in addition to building the arena would cost approximately between 800 and one million dollars. The non-profit says fundraisers are in the works to start building funds, TROT board member Mike Boise said.
MacFarlan said they are also asking for community donations. To learn more about the non-profit, or to donate, you can visit their website here.