EAST AURORA, N.Y. — A first-time croquet tournament is happening on Aug. 17 in East Aurora.
This isn't your normal horseback riding lesson. At Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, they practice a different form of therapy.
This program is for people with physical, cognitive, and emotional differences. They also welcome family members who want to join their loved ones so they can ride together.
The executive director of the riding center Maggie McCooey Keller said the therapeutic riding is beneficial for multiple reasons - health, education, sport, recreation and even leisure.
She said it helps riders develop good balance, coordination, and muscle strength. With her years of experience, Keller said she's seen the effects of riding first-hand.
"Having your child talk for the first time, giving your horse directions. A lot of individuals with autism sometimes have said their first words, 'walk on,'" Keller said.
"As a mother of a son with special needs, it's always so conforming to have people you feel comfortable with taking care of your son and helping your child thrive and grow and strengthen all of his skills," said Rebecca Greiner, a mother of Lothlorien riders.
The Croquet Tournament to raise money for the riding center is fully booked, but you can still help the center by making a donation or becoming a volunteer.
To make a donate, call 716-655-1335. To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center is located at Reiter Road in East Aurora.