The arena at Wölffer Estate stables in Sagaponack buzzed with hope and care on Monday as attendees of the Center for Therapeutic Riding of the East End’s open house witnessed therapeutic riding lessons in action.
CTREE, a nonprofit in its third year, provides year-round private and semi-private horseback riding lessons and equine assisted activities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities. The program’s focus is different for each child, but the ultimate goal is for the riders to become independent.
Three patient and loving horses, Mosely, Cookie and the newest team member, Kirolak, are available for lessons. Each horse is specially trained to work with people with disabilities.
When Hope Hamilton, 7, first started riding she was terrified and would squeeze her mom’s hand until it turned white. She now rides without hands with one instructor and three volunteers by her side. Hope’s mom, Emma Walton Hamilton, was so amazed with Hope’s progress that she recently joined the CTREE board of directors.
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