EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Windridge Therapeutic Center of East Texas was Margo Dewkett's calling 28 years ago. Now, a new book she has written will help others enjoy the success of Windridge.
The success of Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center of East Texas parallels the life of its founder, Margo Dewkett.
"My whole life has been horses," Margo said.
From the time she could walk, all Margo could think of was horses. Margo was only 17 when she left home to train and race horses.
"I was one of the first few females in the United States as a race rider. They didn't even have female jock rooms," said Margo.
Margo built a successful career riding and training thoroughbreds and quarter horses, but after becoming a Christian, she wanted some way to use her talent with horses for Christ. She found her answer on a lonely ride through the East Texas countryside.
"I was really praying what could I do to serve God when all I knew was horses," Margo explained.
A church sign about deaf children led to the answer.
"I went, 'that's it! I can teach deaf children how to ride horses." Margo said. "When I got home and I told Bruce what I had thought about, and what I really believed God is calling me to do, he said, okay, why not?"
Margo and her husband, Bruce, had just purchased land between Gilmer and Longview, and although they had no house on the property, they had built a barn.
"We had a barn. We had a couple of horses," said Margo.
Thus, Windridge, a place of healing and recovery, was born.
"Today we have a 38,000 square-foot covered facility with 24 horses and ten of us on staff," she explained.
During the past 28 years, Margo, her staff and Windridge volunteers have changed thousands of young lives with their activities and therapies.
Margo's recently published book, "The Comprehensive Guide to Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies" is a must-have reference book for educators, students, administrators, and professionals involved in the fast-growing equine therapy industry.
Margo retired in June, but her love of horses and those who ride them lives on at Windridge. And through her book, will live on in therapeutic programs everywhere.
Windridge is located a mile off of Highway 726, north of Longview.