Karah Powell, Development Director, ROCK, Ride On Center for Kids, hosted Seeds of Strength representatives for a site visit. The site visit began at the heart of the operation, right next to the arena used for the variety of equine therapy services provided by ROCK.
On the day we were there, participants were riding horses around the arena, with ROCKateers (volunteers) and staff carefully monitoring and assisting the process. Ms. Powell enthusiastically explained the wide variety of services offered to clients from physical therapy and speech language therapy to therapeutic horsemanship. Clients hear about ROCK services in a variety of ways but must be cleared by the physician prior to receiving services.
ROCK benefits from a large number of dedicated volunteers, called ROCKateers. Volunteers can assist with placing the complicated tack onto the horses, or with side walking next to the participants or horse handling with the horses in the arena. Saddles especially must be carefully fitted to each horse and rider.
Ms. Powell showed us the very organized tack room with extensive charts and spreadsheets utilized to keep track of that and ensure therapeutic value, comfort and safety for the horse and rider.
ROCK continues to innovate. Dr. Nancy Krenek, founder and Chief Executive Officer, joined us on our tour of the facilities. She explained that one way she has found to share and expand on the benefits of ROCK services is to publish the results of research. ROCK partners with academic partners, including Texas.
A&M University, Baylor and other universities, to conduct the research projects. Dr. Krenek showed us a room with an entire wall of posters displaying improvements in function for clients after participating in equine therapies at ROCK
The people of ROCK dream big! While Ms. Powell shared descriptions of current services, she also shared an update on the current status of a land purchase and plans for expansion and building of a new arena. There are many future plans for effectively utilizing the space and time of the facilities by diversifying service and client groups.