Groundbreaking Therapeutic Riding Center Expands in More Ways Than One
The expanded facility will help provide more therapeutic riding sessions and broaden equine therapy research.
Written by Cory Chandler
The TTRC has provided hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding to children and adults with disabilities for more than 12 years.
The Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center (TTRC) broke ground June 14 on phase one of a three-phase project to construct a new therapeutic riding, teaching and research facility.
Once completed, the expanded facility will feature an indoor riding area, classrooms and waiting rooms that will allow Texas Tech to provide more therapeutic riding and hippotherapy sessions. It will also broaden current research into the effects of equine therapy.
“This facility is being built specifically for equine-assisted therapy with accessibility in mind,” said Heather Hernandez, program director for the center. “It will allow the TTRC to expand the number of clients that we see and provide a private place that not only minimizes distractions, but ensures that we maintain the confidentiality of our clients.”
Formed in 1998 in a collaboration between the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and University Medical Center, the TTRC provides therapeutic horseback riding and hippotherapy to children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.
“This is a great day for us,” said Heidi Brady, associate professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences and director of the TTRC. “Our needs have really grown over the past 12 years as demand for our sessions has increased, so I want to thank those at Texas Tech who have supported us and helped us raise money for construction, and acknowledge the hundreds of students who have made this a wonderful program for the riders.”
The center is accredited under the Premier Accredited Center Program of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). It is also a designated service learning course for Texas Tech.
The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is made up of six departments:
- Agriculture and Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education and Communications
- Animal and Food Science
- Landscape Architecture
- Plant and Soil Science
- Natural Resources Management
The college also consists of eleven research centers and institutes, including the Cotton Economics Research Institute, the International Cotton Research Center and the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute.
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