Texarkana nonprofit helps those with special needs through equine therapy

(Source: Pexels/stock image)
(Source: Pexels/stock image)((Source: Pexels/stock image))
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 3:49 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - It is a special day for an east Texas nonprofit. With the aid of horses, the Runnin’ WJ Ranch provides help for students and adults with disabilities. On Wednesday, Oct. 20, the organization reined in support of some stately friends.

The ranch provides equine assistance to those with special needs, whether it be physical or emotional support. Spokesperson Voscia Walker says they have served the area for 20 years with great success.

“We have students that come, they are not speaking a word when they start our services. By the end of the year, they are speaking two or three words, some of them, their movement is better. it also helps them with their anxiety because of the relationship they build with the horses,” she said.

As part of the 20th anniversary, the arena was opened to the community for a tour of the facility and to view a special group of horses.

The Express Clydesdales have spent the past few days at the ranch lending support. These horses are well over seven feet tall and weigh around 2,000 pounds.

Kyle Savage is a horse handler with Express Clydesdale, based in Yukon, Okla.

“Anytime you can accomplish 20 years in any type of industry, especially the type they have going on here, that is definitely a special thing,” he said.

The ranch operates from grants and community donations. They serve around 150 students a year.

“We get donations and of course we have grants, and that helps us keep the students here because of scholarships. All of our students are on scholarship,” said Walker.

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