I’ve been volunteering here for several years now and love every minute I’m there!! Horses are one of the, if not the greatest, forms of therapy. They do a tremendous job with the horses and children.
My son began attended breaking free when he was about 5 years old,due to his Autism and development delays,he was considered nonverbal,only repeating a few words if encouraged by others. Jakub soon felt comfortable at the facility and with the wonderful people working with him. It was there he spoke his first uncoached word . At the beginning of a session,a volunteer was bringing his assigned horse up to meet him ,I picked Jakub up so he could pet him and Jakub patted him and said " Hello" all on his own, with out me prompting him. I was so surprised I couldn't believe I had actually heard him say it but others had heard him too ! It's been several years since that day, but its a day this Momma will never forget, the day he chose to communicate verbally with his special friend, chickie!
Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center is a wonderful place that lets my daughter do something that everyone else can do. My daughter is severely disabled and rides on the saddle that has arms and a back. She has begun to sit up on her own in the floor. She has become more aware of our conversations and responds appropriately with a laugh when its funny. I have also noticed she will make some sounds when Meg asks her to tell the horse to "Walk on". The changes are very small but they are there. Thank you BFTRC, for helping to bring her out a little more. Thank you, Bella, she really looks forward to seeing you each week.
This is such a great and caring organization. I am honored to be a part of group of people who really care. As a Veteran with PTSD I look forward to my days at breaking free and have made good progress thanks to them. Since starting there as a Veteran seeing all the great things they do; I am now also a volunteer.
I am a former volunteer at Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center and have nothing but good things to say about my experience with them. I grew up in southwest Ohio and moved to the Zanesville area for my first full time job. It was a scary and stressful time for me being so far away from home. I didn't know many people my first few months there, so I wanted to find a volunteer position to help get me out of the house and give back to the community I was working in. I rode horses for years, so Breaking Free sounded like the perfect match for me.
My time at Breaking Free instantly became the highlight of my week. It was so special for me to be apart of this group of people who had such a desire to help their students grow and succeed. The instructors were incredibly patient and skilled at what they do. They knew each of their students needs and were always careful to pay special attention (even in group lessons). The volunteers I got to work with were always so happy and passionate about their work. The Executive Director, Linda Lake, has such a love for her center and is very involved with the program. Typically when you think of the executive director of a company or organization, you know of them but never see them. This isn't the case with Breaking Free. Linda is very involved with the center happenings and keeps in close contact with the students and volunteers. I really believe she is a main reason why Breaking Free is so successful. She knows the needs of the program and has such a passion for the centers mission. I have never met such a kind person! This whole group of individuals became like a second family to me, and I still keep in touch with some of them to this day.
The horses are another wonderful and important part of the program. There are multiple different horses and each one is paired thoughtfully with a student or participant. It is remarkable to see the gentle, understanding nature of these horses. I truly believe they understand their students needs. They all have their own personalities outside of classes, but once that saddle goes on their back, they know its time to work. I loved seeing the students interact and respond to their horses. Some of them will even ask for their horse by name! They students and horses develop a really unique connection with one another--I enjoyed being able to witness this each passing week. These horses help to teach their riders about confidence, physical strength, and friendship.
The program is really designed for the students and participants to grow and benefit from. However, getting to spend multiple days a week there volunteering became a therapy for me in a way. It was my time of peace and a chance for me to forget about the stress of life. It made transitioning to a new city so much easier for me, and taught me new things about myself that I hadn't known before. I felt that I grew with the students and always left feeling refreshed at the end of my day. I moved away from Zanesville for another out of state job, and not a day goes by where I don't miss this place. It will always be so near and dear to my heart. It is my hope to one day be involved with a PATH International Therapeutic Riding Center and Breaking Free was able to help me see that.
I highly recommend becoming involved with this center--whether it be enrolling in classes, volunteering or by giving. Your time and financial gifts will help the doors of this center stay open year after year. Miracles and life changing experiences happen at this place every single day, and I am so very blessed to have been able to witness that.
As of Feb. 9th 2012 Breaking Free TRC had its 501c3 reinstated by the IRS. If you are looking for Their current tax standing and would like more information please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or Call the Centers Office and ask For Linda Lake 740-872-3220. This organization is 99% Volunteer Operated . They serviced 204 special needs children from 2008-2012.
Review from Guidestar
This is a wonderful organization, They use the power of the Horse to help children receive physical, cognitive, and emotional therapy. The volunteer staff that make this possible are the most giving people I have ever came into contact with. he children they serve have a wide range of disabilities, and they have more fun in the hour they spend at Breaking Free then I have ever seen any child have. I love being A apart of this Organization!
Review from Guidestar