Tuscaloosa horse therapy ranch cancels Halloween fundraiser, aims to keep serving students

Tuscaloosa non-profit discusses setback from pandemic

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - TROT, Therapeutic Riding of Tuscaloosa, believes every child is special. At the ranch, just outside of Tuscaloosa, off a small two-lane road, children saddle up for a little equestrian therapy.

With each lap and lesson, TROT works to instill faith and confidence in every footfall.

“TROT is able to provide the animals a beautiful life and wonderful support for these children, and huge growth,” said TROT’s Allyson McNeill.

50 students come to TROT to ride and care for the horses weekly.

They quickly learn that in return, the horses care for them, too.

“If you’re out here on any given night and say a student is not able to come, and you go to the horse’s stall, you can tell they are missing their student, they are missing their rider,” she said.

Using positive encouragement, volunteers work with riders on their specific challenges.

“I’ve seen nonverbal students get on a horse for the first time and speak words and talk more and more and more,” said McNeill.

Hand in hoof, the relationship between human and horse can also help to heal some young hearts.

“We have lots of kids out here from different backgrounds, families from different backgrounds, including the foster care system.”

There’s a lot of heart in these horse’s eyes... because they leave smiles like this one, on the faces of kids who need them most.

How to Help

To volunteer, donate to sponsor a child, a horse or even just a lesson, visit trotusa.org or call (205) 752-7691.

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