A new state of the art equestrian center that helps disabled children is now open in eastern Oklahoma. Rogers State University unveiled the new equestrian facility Thursday. The $1.2 million facility is located between Collinsville and Oologah on U.S. Highway 169.
News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports on the new home for the Bit by Bit program.
Thursday was a day Rogers State University has looked forward to for quite some time. A lot of folks were in attendance to get a look at RSU's new Equestrian Center.
"It's just a very special place and we're so thankful to have this facility," says Linda Barron. She is the program director for the center and says it is a special place because the center is home for the Bit by Bit Therapeutic Horse Riding Program.
The program promotes health for children and adults with disabilities through riding horses. "We have individuals that come here with cognitive, and physical and emotional challenges in their lives and we use this facility with our horses and volunteers and staff to improve their daily living skills."
Training with the horses helps to improve balance, walking, language and other skills. There are about 100 children and adults taking part in the program right now. "The child or student will attempt and practice skills that maybe they are a little tentative to try because it's so much fun to be on the horse," says Linda Barron.
In addition to the indoor arena, there are also new classrooms and storage and tack areas. The RSU rodeo team and equestrian related classes will also benefit from the new center according to Linda Barron. "It's going to open so many doors, so many doors. We're so excited."
This is the 11th year for Rogers State's Bit by Bit program. The therapeutic riding program has helped more than 1,000 kids and adults.