Phil King honors equine-assisted nonprofit therapy organization

The Stars and Strides Stables non-profit was honored with a proclamation from State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, Friday afternoon for its dedication to helping people with disabilities through equine-assisted therapy. From left, Courtney Miller, Zhanna Linscombe, Matthew Good, Phil King, David Miller and Teresa Miller.

State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, honored the Stars and Strides Stables with a proclamation Friday afternoon for the organization’s work in providing therapeutic riding for kids and adults with disabilities in Parker County.

“We provide equine-assisted therapy for kids and adults with a variety of disabilities. Basically, our job is to work with them on horseback to help with their core strength, their motor skills and even their interactive skills,” Co-Founder David Miller said. “It helps them physically and it also helps with their self esteem and their confidence because we take our kids to horse shows throughout the year and they get a chance to compete against other riders who also have a variety of disabilities. It gives the kids a chance to have some type of sporting event that they otherwise couldn’t participate in, so that’s the type of thing we do.”

Stars and Strides officially became a nonprofit organization in 2013 and currently has 12 horses they use for the therapy. The organization also offers scholarships, funded by donations, to riders who may not be able to afford the $3,800 annual therapy cost.

“We get about 50 riders a week and people calling every day to ride or for scholarships — we’re constantly looking for scholarships for riders,” Co-Founder and Program Director Teresa Miller said. “When they do something that they never thought they could do on a horse, it’s rewarding. The confidence they get from making a 1,200-pound animal move and do things, it’s just very rewarding. They’re getting the physical input that’s a lot more fun than just going and working on a therapy ball — it’s an animal that they love and it helps them physically and emotionally.”

King met with the Millers and some of their riders at his office Friday afternoon to honor the organization in person.

“The proclamation was just to give special recognition to them for the great work they do, the great ministry and providing fun for young people that might not ever get to experience that,” King said.

David Miller said they were excited to received the recognition.

“We’re excited about this because we feel like it’s a great way to honor the work that our riders do and we’re real pleased and excited that Rep. King honored us with this proclamation,” David Miller said.

For more information about Stars and Strides Stables visit starsandstrides.org

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