I have had several disabled children participate in this all volunteer program for over 10 years and am continually amazed at the results produced by the great horses and caring instructors and helpers. I have a daughter with Spina Bifida who was never supposed to walk, start walking at age 8, after a few months of riding. She is now 18 and still rides. I have another child with severe brain abnormalities who has been riding since he was 6 months old. We were told he may never walk. He is now 6 and runs constantly. He still has many sensory issues, but on horseback he is totally relaxed. I have never seen another all volunteer organization with the dedication that brings people out to help week after week. We have student volunteers from middle school, high school, local colleges, and military installations, who provide many hours of service to the program. Many community members and parents also help by providing support and food for the volunteers. All donations are used for equipment, horse care, feed, vet care, and rent. Instructors have paid for their own training and certification from NARHA, and are not paid.
CM Star Riders is run by some of the most warm, generous, and caring people that immediately make you feel welcome and at ease. They accommodate pretty much any aspect your special needs child may require. Their horses are beautiful, respected, and calm. The reassurance and bonding that the horse provides to the child is a true benefit that is often magical. Their program has brought new insights and awareness to my child that he would not have experienced otherwise. I have seen my own child's growth and that of other children who have benefited physically and mentally from this program. I highly recommend this horse-riding program to anyone who is looking for strength, healing, and growth in their child and for the whole family.
I have a special needs child and much of my time and energy are centered around meeting his needs. I took him to Star Riders and was overjoyed to find that not only was he able to benefit from the wonderful services there, but my daughter, who loves horses, was able to volunteer. She loves going there and it is such a joy to have a place to go that provides community and caring for my whole family.
My fourteen-year-old daughter has been volunteering for Star Riders for over a year now. It has been (and continues to be) an invaluable opportunity for her to connect with the children and young adults that Star Riders serves and to gain more experience in working with horses. The leaders of Star Riders are very supportive of their teen volunteers and make a point of making it both fun and a learning opportunity for them. Above all, they care deeply about all whom they serve. From delicious homemade meals served to all of the families who come on Saturdays for lessons, to making sure that the siblings of clients get to ride as well, the Star Riders team goes the extra mile to make the services they offer something that the whole family can share. Thank you, Star Riders, for being an inspiration to us all!
My 15 year old autistic son has been participating in the Star Riders program for over three years now. He looks forward to this Saturday activity each week. "Go horseback riding" he will say to me with happy anticipation. Initially I though this was just going to be a pony ride, but happily I was wrong. The expert instructors have taught him balance, self esteem, and now he rides by himself using the reins to guide the horse around the ring. He even participated in a horse show last year and took away a first place trophy in his class. The big smile on his face told the whole story. As students get older they are able to help care for the horses and have a since of accomplishment. Thank you Star Riders for all you have done for my son.