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Guilford County horse riding program helps people with special needs

SUMMERFIELD, N.C. -- With faith and the right people on your side, nothing is off limits.

HorseFriends Therapeutic Riding Program is helping special needs families reach new milestones in their journeys through free therapy.

“Usually, it’s very often their one thing that they can come out and they can do and do well and feel like they have accomplished something just being with the horses,” said Sharon Neely, president and program director.

The riders, ranging from children to adults, have conditions that would typically mean riding a horse is out of the question.

“We come up with activities on horseback that benefit whatever condition that they're dealing with, whatever disability, but we like to emphasize the ability because we really believe that abilities come about from this,” Neely said.

Bonnie Clark has seen a transformation in her son Jeffrey Beck.

“When we first came, Jeffrey could not walk. They put him on a horse. He went from being in a wheelchair, to the walker, to walking by himself, so this place means the world to us,” Clark said.

Beck was in a car accident and has a traumatic brain injury.

He currently can’t ride, but he hopes to begin riding his favorite horse, Cheyenne, again soon.

In the meantime, he and his mother come to the riding center to support other families.

“With the loving care, and the prayer, and the thoughts, and just the consideration, that has given me my faith in God back and I would not trade that for anything,” Clark said.

HorseFriends Therapeutic Riding Program relies on donations to provide free services to families.

The organization is preparing for its Boots & Buckles Benefit Concert.

The event will feature a performance by country music artist Stephanie Quayle.

All proceeds will support the work of HorseFriends Therapeutic Riding Program.

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