Nongprue formalizes horse-therapy program

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Nongprue Sub-district and the Father Ray Foundation have formalized a physical therapy program using horses that was begun last year.

Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit and representatives from the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs and the Mitmaitee Clinic signed a memorandum of understanding April 30 at the Pattaya Shooting Park to regularly operate a program first run in June by Nongprue last year with a promise to continue it monthly.

Mai last year donated the shooting park to the Parents Group for Special-Needs Children so it could organize the equine-assisted therapy event.

Kids from the Father Ray center enjoyed drawing, coloring, jumping on the trampoline, food, and pony rides in a day that mixed fun with constructive work on overcoming disabilities.

Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit (second left) and representatives from the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs, Pattaya Shooting Park, and the Mitmaitee Clinic sign a memorandum of understanding to regularly operate an equine-assisted therapy program.Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit (second left) and representatives from the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs, Pattaya Shooting Park, and the Mitmaitee Clinic sign a memorandum of understanding to regularly operate an equine-assisted therapy program.

Organizers noted that horses are ideal therapy assistants that provide benefits on both the physical and emotional level. Their natural motion mimics the feeling of walking, giving disabled children a chance to “walk” on their own.

Horses also are extremely empathetic animals and riders can learn to control their pulse and social behaviors, as the pony mirrors to the feelings of the child on its back.

The signing event also featured free eye exams, games and activities.

Horse Therapy can be beneficial to children with special needs.Horse Therapy can be beneficial to children with special needs.