Locust Lane Riding Center (LLRC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Shelly Pelet. Her vision includes creating opportunities to share a personal love of horses with others who would benefit from equestrian activities; fulfilling the mission to promote physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
While some riding programs focus on the competitive aspects of equestrian sport, our focus is primarily on the recreational and therapeutic value of horsemanship. Students of all ages and abilities are encouraged to set goals and strive to achieve them, but success is not necessarily determined by the ability to compete. There are countless rewards that come from interacting with horses. Participants learn from riding and taking care of horses about responsibility and leadership. Many of our horses have special stories of past abuse or neglect. Some have been rescued from slaughter; some have been rehabilitated from serious injury. By interacting with these special needs horses, students with special needs are able to identify and relate to them in a powerful, healing way:
- * Riders with physical disabilities are given a wonderful opportunity to experience movement in a rhythmic, repetitive, symmetrical sequence that benefits the body physically and mentally.
- * Students with behavioral problems become aware of how to think and behave more humanely and benevolently toward not just horses, but all animals and people. Participants gain compassion which contributes to creating well-adjusted human beings.
- * Working with horses opens new doors for at-risk youth to learn healthy behaviors and ways of coping with difficult emotional or domestic situations. Sometimes people find that just being in the presence of horses reduces stress and tension.
Why is therapeutic horsemanship so effective? Horses are large and strong. They provide a natural opportunity for people to overcome fear and develop courage, confidence, respect and assertiveness. Horses also have independent, ‘quirky’ personalities. They encourage youth to learn anger management and impulse control, as well as patience, flexibility, and problem-solving skills. The horse’s need for care provides opportunities for learning about hard work, teamwork, responsibility and communication. Perhaps most importantly, horses take no notice of a person’s problems, his background, or his perceived shortcomings. Horses mirror human emotions creating opportunities to explore feelings and destructive behavior patterns, and to make changes where necessary.
It is our desire to make LLRC available to as many students as possible; to share the love of God through His extraordinary creatures, to help cultivate a personal relationship with Him, and to equip them with skills needed to achieve their fullest potential in all areas of life
The center is faith-based, and is directed by Shelly Pelet, with the help of several other independent contracted trainers, working students, and volunteers.