Oak Harbor equine therapy center seeks funds, helps disabled - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Oak Harbor equine therapy center seeks funds, helps disabled

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Kelsey Marquart riding a horse at therapy Kelsey Marquart riding a horse at therapy
OAK HARBOR, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A therapy center used by dozens of people in the Toledo area is at risk of having to close up for good. Leaders at Riders Unlimited in Oak Harbor say they need the community's help so that they can keep helping others.

Riders Unlimited is an equine therapy center. They use horses to work with more than 100 children and adults with disabilities in the area. They have been open for about three years but now they're hoping your donations can help prevent them from having to close for financial reasons.

Kelsey Marquart has been through a lot in her five-years of life. Born premature, she has gone through numerous surgeries and has regular appointments with seven different doctors.

"She got depressed, kind of laid around. Didn't want to play," said her mom Liz Marquart.

Desperate for something that could help her daughter, Marquart turned to equine therapy at Riders Unlimited.

"We came out here for an open house one day and she just smiled so I said, ok, we have to try this because this is the first time I've seen her smile in a long time," said Marquart.

"We utilize the movement of the horse and the non-traditional barn environment to work on the various goals and objectives of people that have disabilities," explains Rebekah Recker, program director at Riders Unlimited.

It's something Kelsey and dozens of others with disabilities have used to heal. But the director says running the center costs about $7,000 per month. Now they are relying on donations to make ends meet, and to be able to continue helping people like Kelsey.

"She's happier. She has a little more confidence and it's starting to build up more and more," says Marquart.

Donations to help the center pay their bills can be made at www.ridersunlimited.org/donors.html

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