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Assurance Home and the Mustang Therapy Horses
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Assurance Home and the Mustang Therapy Horses

Lee Kyser is now the director of the Mustang Project at the Assurance Home in Roswell, New Mexico. He has been riding horses since he was about four years old. Kyser has been a principal, a guidance counselor, and even taught in the Roswell Independent School District. He has divided his time between the school and the trails of the Sacramento Mountains of southeastern New Mexico.

In 1996, he was a school administrator and had begun to miss his contact with kids. He applied for a position in the after-school program, Cross-Training Center, as director of the athletic club for kids. When the club closed in 1997, he went on to herd cattle at the Roswell Livestock Auction.

Kyser then learned of a position as a counselor at the Assurance Home, a group home for young troubled or homeless youth, aged 12 to 18. There were a couple of horses at the facility and in 1998 the Roswell Association for Retarded Citizens started the therapeutic riding program called Trailblazers. Kyser was amazed to see the influence this program called hippotherapy had on the kids.

Hippotherapy is a program that helps those with different disabilities such as spinal-cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, autism, and developmental delays. It improves flexibility, balance, and muscle tone as well as interpersonal skills. Kyser watched the interactions between the kids and horses with interest. Maybe this awakened something in him because one of his four children is mentally handicapped.

He then started working part-time for the Reins For Life which is another program like the Trailblazers. During the certification process he had to go through, Kyser had to show his riding skills and his ability at giving riding lessons to the handicapped. He is now a certified therapeutic riding instructor. His experience has helped him in preparing mustangs for the program, showing the importance of safety, and what constitutes a good therapy horse.

 

Image: Flickr.com

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Leave a Comment

  1. Julie Sinclair
    Wonderful information - voted
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    1. Eve Sherrill York
      Eve Sherrill York
      Thank you, Julie, for your support.
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  2. Ann Johnston
    Very interesting - voted
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    1. Eve Sherrill York
      Eve Sherrill York
      Thank you, Ann.
      Log in to reply.
  3. Sarah Johnston
    Sarah Johnston
    Great information and very interesting - voted
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    1. Eve Sherrill York
      Eve Sherrill York
      Thank you so much.
      Log in to reply.
  4. jst4horses
    Mustangs are a wonderful part of restoration of high risk juveniles. I had the opportunity and pleasure of developing mustangs by the truckful at the ranch of a leading world horse trainer a couple of summers. The horses were being readied for programs for locked down juvenile offenders. The horses reach these children and teens when nothing else seems to work. It is the horses, not all the verbage, and tests that makes the difference.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Eve Sherrill York
      Eve Sherrill York
      Animals are amazing that way. Horses are some of the best.
      Log in to reply.

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