Horse therapy group forced to move from Phoenix location

PHOENIX - A horse therapy program in northwest Phoenix is in jeopardy.

The program Horse Rhythm is a non-profit that has been located at a ranch near 65th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road for the past three years. It is unique because it caters to veterans and first responders who have suffered traumatic injuries.

They now have to move because their lease is expiring.

"When you hear some vets say that they wouldn't be around if it weren't for the horses it really hits you, " said Danny Schrader.

Schrader works with the group and is also a veteran who suffered serious injuries while serving in Iraq.  After being injured by an IED, he thought he would never ride a horse again.

"It is kind of intimidating at first but then you get up there and the horse moves with you and it becomes very calming and empowering," he said.

Schrader explained that the ranch is equipped with ramps to help those who are wheelchair bound be lifted on the horses.

The therapy is two-fold said Schrader. First the movement of a horse provides physical therapy and the calming effect of being around the animals has helped some with PTSD.

"I've seen veterans who come out here and after a few minutes you can just watch how it changes them," Schrader said.

The program has grown significantly over the past three years.  The additional clients have put some traffic strain on the neighborhood. The group needs to move by October and is in need of financial help to keep the program going strong.

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