Article by W. Clay Crook-
The Lexington Rotary Club had three very special guest speakers on January 19, 2021 to talk about the Rein-Bow Riding Academy in Henderson County. The Academy is a service of the Therapy and Learning Center of West Tennessee Healthcare and was established in 2006. Trish Stanfill, who with her late husband Gary Stanfill made the first steps in vision for Rein-Bow, introduced Specialty Programs Manager Barbara Meussner and Ron Kwasigroh from West Tennessee Healthcare.
Barbara is also an Occupational Therapist and said that there are currently six horses in the program who, with a number of families and volunteers, serve about fifty-two children per season.
Barbara spoke about the early inception of Rein-Bow when Gary and Trish Stanfill met a man in a wheel chair called “Pete” and Gary arranged to get him on a horse, not knowing at the time that the movement of the horse was therapeutic, but he did notice that Pete had relaxed his arms and legs in response to the horse. Pete was typically nonverbal, but when Gary asked Pete to tell his father that he had a good time, Pete broke into a big smile and yelled “yeehaw!” This touched Gary and he started to look into the program. His passion was to do something and shared with James K. Taylor for it to be a non-paying service and Rein-Bow Riding Academy was born.
“Gary went to meet Jesus in 2012, but he left a powerful legacy for us,” Barb said, “and he left a powerful vision.” What Gary experienced is known as hippotherapy, and serves in a way that can’t be provided in any other therapy method. The Rein-Bow site explains that the horse’s walk provides sensory input through movement, and that the responses in the rider are…
For the complete story, see the January 27th edition of The Lexington Progress.