Therapeutic equine center expands their reach

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A therapeutic equine riding center expanded its reaches on Sunday by opening a new facility near Brookland and Joneboro.

Spirit Ridge Equine Center serves people by offering physical, mental, occupational, as well as other forms of therapy through riding and working with horses. The first Spirit Ridge Center to open in northeast Arkansas began in Paragould four years ago and with Sunday's addition, those needing assistance near Jonesboro and Brookland can now benefit from those services.

Most in attendance Sunday came to help out by donating money or going on a trail ride. But, Spirit Ridge is more than just leisurely horse rides and games. "The magic of a horse is amazing, it opens avenues, it helps people," says Sprit Ridge Program Director Sandra Maynard. "If you are in a wheelchair and you have poor core strength then it (riding a horse) is going to strengthen those muscles and is going to give you awesome benefits." Maynard says that riding a horse can move your hips just like you are walking.

In addition to physical therapy, the center offers equine assisted counseling, school programs, corporate team building, and even Boy and Girls Scout functions.

Executive Director Sheila Coleman says that the centers are always looking to expand and they need the publics help to do so. The organization is doing several fundraiser's to raise money to help their newly opened facility located on County Road 912 off of the Farville Curve.

If you would like to help or are interested in how Spirit Ridge could benefit you, call the Spirit Ridge Equine Center office at (870) 215-0373 or you can visit their website at

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