AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Before now, riding a horse was only a dream for some local veterans.
Thanks to a new wheelchair lift, it's now becoming a reality.
With help from the community, 7 Star Therapeutic Riding Center is now able to expand its reach to those individuals who are on walkers or wheelchair bound.
This means veterans who were once on a waiting list for nearly two years are now able to experience healing through horse therapy.
"We have some that have gone from a wheelchair to a walker that are now walking independently," said Executive Director for 7 Star Therapeutic Riding Center Rachael Wade. "You know, coming up here and walking up the ramp by themselves, and that's a huge feat for them."
Some of the veterans said the newfound excitement of horse therapy is aiding their recoveries.
"I get energy and I become happy. I couldn't walk, but coming out here with the exercises and everything now I'm walking. I still have a crutch, but I'm walking," said Air Force Veteran Kathoryn Commerford.
Others said the animals provide critical stress relief.
"I'm less stressful, this is great on just doing something different, that you find out that you enjoy," said Navy Veteran Lloyd Wilson. "It means a lot to me to come here. The people make it happen and the horses of course."
Wade said it means a lot to have the community joining in for a good cause.
"It's so important, you know, we're getting more known in our community and getting our name out there," said Wade. "When you combine horses and special needs children and veterans, it really pulls at people's heartstrings.
The non-profit organization is currently raising money to purchase an adaptive saddle for quadriplegic patients.