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Local ranch harnesses the healing power of horses

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A therapeutic horse riding center, Healing with Horses Ranch, opened Saturday in Manor.

Horses have already changed the life of two-year-old Caleb Witcher. Diagnosed with insomnia and a sensory processing disorder, Caleb has already received a year of horse-riding lessons.

"He also had developmental milestones, his core was very loose so he'd fall forward and fall back, and now that's definitely improved a lot," Caleb’s mother Kristen Witcher said.

Not only does riding help with physical disabilities, but the rhythm of the horse can help improve behavior as well.

"We definitely know when he needs a ride, we can tell in the week if he needs a lesson or not,” Kristen said.

Horses played a large role in Patti D'Andrea's childhood. She opened Healing with Horses Ranch as way to give back to the community.

"This is my passion,” she said. “Horses saved me growing up, I've always said that and I wanted to do something with kids and horses. So that I can give back what they have given to me."

There are eight horses on the ranch, six are involved in the program.

"It helps emotionally,” D’Andrea said. “It helps that soul, being able to bond with a horse."

Kristen Witcher notices a difference in her son as soon as he lets go of the reins.

"He's a lot calmer, he's not as anxious,” she said. “It's amazing."

The Healing with Horses Ranch is located on FM 973 in Manor. To find out more, check out HealingWithHorsesRanch.org.

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