Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Therapeutic Riding Academy Hosting Annual Girl Scout Horse Show in August

Chariot Riders and the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore will host an annual horse show in August for girls who have participated in an equestrian program during day camp or throughout the year. New Jersey's Manchester Patch reports that Chariot Riders partnered with the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore a few years ago and their Monmouth County facility is on Girl Scouts property in Farmingdale.

"We do programs for them, which offsets our rent," said Linda Fazio, Executive Director and certified instructor at the therapeutic riding facility. "We do clinics, therapeutic riding and camp."

Fazio said between the two facilities, Chariot Riders, a non-profit accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, serves 150 to 200 people each week. They provide therapeutic horseback riding for physically and mentally challenged children and adults, helping them with their balance, physical therapy, education and general well-being.

"We have a child with cerebral palsy who comes twice a week, working on his balance, speech and social skills," Fazio said. "But it's also fun."

A new set of clients for Chariot Riders is military veterans, who may participate in the Horses for Heroes program. Fazio said the program started to assist veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but they assist all former servicemembers with physical or cognitive disorders.

"The results have been amazing," said Fazio. "We do not charge a fee to any vet who wants to come to the program."

The Manchester Township facility has been open since 1989 and includes an indoor ring, four outdoor riding areas and a 3-acre sensory trail that leads down to a lake. The property also includes the house where Fazio lives.