Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Magic Moments facing ‘very serious situation’


By Todd G. Higdon
Carthage Press
Tue Jan 06, 2009, 11:51 AM CST

IAMOND, Mo. -

A riding therapy center who helps people with developmental disabilities is facing possible closure.

Magic Moments Riding Therapy, 272 County Ln. 125, Diamond, made the announcement on Monday.

“Our situation is very serious,” said Jeanne Brummet, director. “We depend on donations to cover the majority of our operating expenses and this year, everyone has cut back. We are nearly out of money right now. We are literally down to our last few thousands dollars. And will not be able to feed our horses or pay our bills after January unless we get assistance now.”

The center began in December 1998, when Brummet’s daughter, Rachel, went through a riding clinic.

“Then we moved here, there was not a (riding therapy) center in this area and we felt that it was important,” Brummet said. “We work with a lot of developmental disabilities. The movement of the horse as the person rides, causes changes in the human brain, and during the time when they are riding, you can work with them and target different things that they might need help with. You can work on balance, posture and speech and muscle strength in different areas of the body. And when you are in the field of therapy, providing that you studied it, it is kind of like you have honed your craft to actually target different areas, using the horse and using your knowledge to make improvements in specific things. We work a lot with autism; we work on getting these kids out of their little world that they stay in most of the time and brining them into our world, through the use of the activities and movement of the horse. We work with kids that cant walk. We have gotten children out of wheelchairs and off of their walkers and be able to walk and run like other children. But it is a question to how to use these horses to get these things accomplished.”

Horseback riding is therapeutic because the motion of the walking horse stimulates the human brain and has an effect on 25 sensory-motor systems in the human body, promoting improved muscle tone, improved walking gait, flexibility, self-confidence, speech-language, balance, posture and more, according to information provided by the business.

Contrary to belief, therapeutic horseback riding is not a new technique. It was used extensively in Europe after WWII to treat victims of polio. It was brought to the United States later on and it is gaining recognition in the medical field.

During the last 10 years, Brummet said they have helped more than 300 people. They also have worked with area Girl Scouts by teaching them about horses, teaching them how to ride, etc. during the summer camp.

And as far has how they have helped those with disabilities, Brummet said it shows.

“I just had a mom today (Monday) that called me, whose son rides here, that is frantic, because her son literally can not get through school without riding,” she said. “For this kid, he goes into sensory overload and he can't function at school. And she had to take him out for a couple of months and she had to bring him back. They could do absolutely nothing with him, nothing. Not at home, not at school. She is frantic and she doesn’t know what she is going to do if we go under."

Now it is time for the public to help Magic Moments Riding Therapy Center.

“To operate for a year, we need $50,000,” Brummet said.

Brummet is asking for any donations. Donations can be taken to any Arvest Bank or mail to 272 County Ln. 125, Diamond, Mo. 64840.