"I just say horses are magical," said Christine Remy, Chair of the Board of Directors for "The Right Step." The Littleton-based nonprofit offers riding and ground lessons for those with disabilities or special needs.
"Some of our clients don't have a lot of power in their lives, in their everyday lives. They may use wheelchairs, they may be on the autism spectrum, but you get up on the back of a thousand-pound animal and you're telling that animal what to do, it's very empowering. It's confidence building, it's a wonderful thing," said Remy.
For 15 years, horses like "Splash" have helped provide children and adults with a social outlet, grounding, and a sense of independence.
"Splash here, she's my very special horse," said Remy. "When you need her, she leans in."
With the help of six horses and 200 volunteers, the organization helps those with both physical and mental special needs. They also have programs for veterans and seniors.
"We've watched some kids grow up. I have one client who started when she was seven years old and now she's a senior in high school. She started when she was very timid and now, she's one of our very independent riders," said Remy.
The Right Step sees 40 or more clients a week, but the need is much greater.
"We have a waitlist of about a hundred people," said Remy.
As they celebrate 15 years of making a difference, there's one big goal for the future.
"We operate out of Denver Equestrians, it's a beautiful facility," said Remy. "But eventually we'd like to have our own place, so were looking out there, if anybody has a beautiful arena right around [Littleton], we would love to talk to you."
In addition to looking for a new space, The Right Step is also looking for sponsors and volunteers. They say it costs about $1,200 per horse per month to feed, shelter, and take care of the horses. While lessons go for about $80, they also offer scholarships because they don't want to turn anyone away.
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