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East Texas Equestrian Center celebrates ‘Healing through Horsemanship’

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 6:46 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Starbrite Therapeutic Equestrian Center on Friday celebrated “Healing Through Horsemanship” with a special luncheon.

Starbrite Therapeutic Equestrian Center provides equine-assisted activities and therapies for the physical, emotional and cognitively challenged individuals. Starbrite’s mission is to empower both the individual and their families as well as improve independence and life skills in partnership with the horse.

“Every single one that comes through is like the biggest blessing. We go from autism, to depression, to defiance, to cerebral palsy,” Starbrite Therapeutic Equestrian Center Executive Director Cindy McCall said about their riders.

Amberley Snyder is a professional barrel racer who spoke at the luncheon.

“I was in a car accident in 2010 that left me in this wheelchair and I had to start life over,” Snyder said. She said she built her life around horses. “The very first day I got back on the horse was one of the hardest of my life because I realized it was never going to be the same.”

Snyder returned to riding four months after the car wreck that left her paralyzed. Now she shares her story to inspire others and is the subject of the Netflix film, “Walk. Ride. Rodeo,” narrating her “triumph over tragedy.”

At the “Healing through Horsemanship” luncheon, she said she has one major thing in common with the center: “The absolute love of horses and what we know that they have given to us. I feel like sometimes as people we think that we’re the ones that take care of these horses, and we’re the one’s that make their lives better but in all reality they’re the ones that get to change it for us.”

The goal of the luncheon was to raise $150,000 to fund the horses food and over all care-taking, and they exceeded that goal.

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