Therapeutic riding experience for Camp Friendship children

Troutville, Clearfield County, Pa. - Heather Cyphert takes care of her 15 horses at her family farm in Troutville. However, for Cyphert, it's not about riding the horses herself.Rather, it's about giving that experience to others through her therapeutic riding program 'Healing Hooves'. 

"Horses serve a huge purpose than just standing in a pasture," says Cyphert. 

For the third year Cyphert decided to bring in Camp Friendship, to help children with developmental or emotional disabilities, saddle up! "Some kids that are on the autism spectrum like that motion, that back and forth," explains Cyphert.

For many of the campers this was their first time on the horses. Including a camper named Becky, saying "I like them! Because they're so beautiful!" Becky even imitated the noises horses make. 

Many of these campers had to overcome some of their fears, but through that, they found a new love for riding. "No scared! No? No! How come? Because I love it!" explains one camper.

Cyphert works with children with disabilities on a daily basis, so she knew teaming up with Camp Friendship is something she had to do. "It warms my heart to see someone that has you know, fears. That has been told they will never be able to do something outside of their comfort zones, and I get them out of their comfort zones and they absolutely love it." 

A goal of camp friendship is to have these kids explore uncharted territories. "Camp friendship is definitely something that they get to experience things that they wouldn't be able to anywhere else," explains camp director Marcy Plilar.  

Cyphert is excited to share with the campers the fond memories she had growing up as a child. "I'm very blessed that my grand dad put me on a horse when I was three and I think they're pretty proud of what I do so," says Cyphert pushing through the tears. Hoping she will help these campers find the strength to  over come any obstacles in life. 

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