Group uses horses to help people with mental and physical hardships


VALDERS, Wis. (WBAY) — A group is helping people overcome mental struggles with the help of horses.

For Lilly Rose, Rrocky is more that just her favorite pony. Not too long ago she struggled to say anything to him, or even walk to him, until she started going to the Rising Star Stables Star Light Equine Assisted Coaching Program.

“When she can’t come here because of the rain or whatever, she’s very sad,” said Lilly’s grandmother Lola Sarabia.

Rising Star Stables offers counseling services to Lilly, other kids, adults, and military veterans. They have sessions on a farm in Valders, working on their disabilities, PTSD, depression, and more.

Teha Neidl’s son, Hollister, has autism. Spending time with the horses allows him to be at ease and be himself.

“It makes me happy to see him happy,” Teha said.

“I mean, the person he is out here is a lot different than what he used to be and it’s just nice,” she said.

Amy Olsen started the program and sees first hand the benefits for the people who seek it out.

The trouble is when the seasons turn from fall to winter. The farm doesn’t have an indoor arena like some other programs in the area.

“Once we have people on a program, we’re getting them going down the right road, we’re breaking down barriers, we’re getting them to be able to live again, the cold comes and we can’t do this until next spring,” Olson said.

Right now the group is looking to raise money to build an indoor arena or find one to rent so her clients don’t have their treatments interrupted.

For more information  on Rising Star Stables Star Light Equine Assisted Coaching and their upcoming fundraiser, you can visit their website or Facebook page.