Find your peaceful place among horses at ‘A Broken Spur Riding Academy’

Horses are honest, exert a sense of calm and will be there for you.

A Broken Spur Riding Academy is helping the community connect with these special creatures.

“Whenever you get on them, you might not know what’s going to happen but it’s just a trust and relationship that you have to build,” said volunteer Hailie Acord. “Once you gain that trust it can be really beautiful cause then you have a companionship for 40 to 50 years.”

Executive director and certified therapeutic riding instructor Sarah Dorsey says she loves being around horses because they provide a creative coping mechanism and help you achieve your life goals.

“Helping with motor sensory skills, it can work on strengthening your core muscles and your leg muscles — and just gives you overall a sense of well-being and health and a fun time,” said the riding instructor.

Since she was 13-years-old Hailie Acord has always loved horses. She and Sarah volunteered together at Glade Spring.

“She (Sarah) ended up moving away and we kind of both went our separate ways,” Acord said. “And then when she came back we rekindled our friendship and it always involved horses from the start.”

For hundreds of years, equine therapy has benefited individuals on the autism spectrum, those with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and much more.

“Horses are the only animal that can sync up their heart rhythm with a human heart rhythm — so that has multiple physical benefits,” said Dorsey. “It helps your soul heal in so many aspects.”

A Broken Spur Riding Academy offers everything from therapeutic riding lessons to mounted and unmounted ground lessons, therapeutic horsemanship, learn to groom, tack up, and bathe horses.

“Horses are expensive so it’s not something that everybody can just go out and do,” Acord said. “So it’s nice to have events for the community to enjoy these creatures as much as we do.”

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