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As part of our ongoing Subaru Support series, Peltier Subaru in Tyler is shining a spotlight on a different non-profit organization each month. To kick off September, we are taking a look at Starbrite Therapeutic Equestrian Center, where youth, adults, and veterans are able to experience equine therapy for a variety of needs they may have.
“Starbrite is an equine therapeutic riding center, and we serve two different populations,” said Program & Site Director April Scarbrough. “We serve adults and kiddos with disabilities as well as veterans in the same state with possible physical or mental health disabilities.”
The essence of Starbrite’s success lies in the incredible connection they forget between the horses and those who need a helping hand. Whether it’s physical or emotional growth, the one-on-one time spent taking care of the horse and learning not how to control them but to work together to help heal the rider. From veterans to children, the programs there act as a catalyst for growth and companionship.
“Having an experience with horses really makes a world of difference,” said Charles Flanders, a veteran who often comes to Starbrite with his family. “I think working together as a group to figure out the riding, it helps us to be closer and more of a close-knit family than it would be just trying to figure out everything on our own.”
“It’s a very step-by-step process at your pace. We just start with groundwork one-on-one. It’s literally as simple as how do you brush it. You’re going to learn to walk it and control it on the ground before you ever get on its back,” added Scarbrough. “This isn’t one of those moments where we just put you on a hose and you might feel out of control.”
During my own visit there, it was easy to see the love shared between rider and horse, and how this journey is more than just coming in to work off some steam, but a bond that’s built over time.
There are many ways to get involved and support Starbrite! There are many volunteer opportunities that allow you to help even if you have not had experience with horses yet. And, monetary donations and sponsorships go a long way to help keep the daily operations at Starbrite running smoothly as they take care of each horse and provide the ultimate experience to every individual and family that comes their way.
If you, or someone you love, are in need of support and want to take the first steps with Starbrite, you can click here to visit their website to email or call 903-530-4050. You can also visit their Facebook page to keep up with what’s going on each month.