Thanks to a partnership between UNCG and HORSEPOWER Therapeutic Learning Center, graduate students gain hands-on experience directing a horse therapy program for children with intellectual disabilities. Perry Flynn (right), professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, provides guidance for the students. Flynn has been involved with HORSEPOWER for over 20 years.

It’s a hot Tuesday morning in July. The horses twitch and stomp. A barn cat snoozes in the sun. Seems like just another day at HORSEPOWER Therapeutic Learning Centerin Colfax, but for four kids with intellectual learning disabilities, it’s the best day.

Each summer, UNC Greensboro graduate students from several departments, including the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the School of Health and Human Sciences, gain clinical practicum experience over two weeks while running a therapeutic riding camp under the direction of professor Perry Flynn. Flynn has been involved with HORSEPOWER since the its inception in 1994.

HORSEPOWER is a non-profit and Premier PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International Center that provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted therapy to over 300 individuals with disabilities, as well as able-bodied students, each year. The program offers 30 hours of free, individualized therapy to campers. CSD began a partnership with the university a few years ago.

The graduate students work two-to-one with the children, who range in age from three to eight years old.

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Originally published July 19, 2018. Story by Elizabeth L. Harrison. Photography by Martin W. Kane.


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