Imagine a place where people with mental and physical limitations could remove the “dis” from disability. That was the vision when Dianne Lashoones founded Rhythm of the Rein. Twenty years later, the Vermont-based non-profit continues to use her special mix of adaptive riding, hippotherapy, and therapeutic driving to help clients from all walks of life find their true abilities.
Erik Kindestin is a graduate-turned-volunteer for the program. As a young child, he spent many years at Rhythm of the Rein, rehabbing from a prenatal stroke. “Although I still have some residual effects, this program gave me the confidence and physical abilities to pursue my goals,” he says. Today, the biology major loves hiking, marching in the university band, and volunteering.
Atop a horse, clients like Erik find new abilities, building muscle tone, motor coordination, and balance, all while developing important social and emotional skills too.
Board Member Sue Martin credits the organization’s team of highly trained horses with the program’s success. “While the human part of the therapy team is extremely caring and compassionate, it’s the equine connection that produces the magic,” Sue insists. “The most spirited horse will immediately calm when introduced to someone with a severe disability, knowing their special cargo needs to be provided with comfort and patience.”