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Horses Providing Adults, Children With Alternative Therapy

Central Illinois Riding Therapy in East Peoria is helping more than 100 people locally.
EAST PEORIA – If you need some kind of therapy, your first thought may be to call a doctor’s office. However, there’s an alternative option, and it involves horses. 

An arena in East Peoria is the home to Central Illinois Riding Therapy.

The non-profit offers horseback riding for your health, helping students to walk, talk and work through many kinds of disabilities.

Jenna Walker, the program director said, "We're one of the best kept secrets in East Peoria."

In fact, Walker said her horses are helping more than 100 people. “We have a lot of students come to us every year. More doctors are realizing we're out there so there sending more students to us."

Perry Martin has been a student for the past three years. He suffered a nearly fatal injury on the job, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

However, when he rides it makes him feel like he’s walking again. "It's got the full motion, like when he walks and moves his legs my body has to be in rhythm with it and it works on my balance."

The non-profit operates completely off donations, giving adults and kids a chance they may have never had. Martin said, “If you want to come in and spend time watching the kids and see how the horses and the kids relate to each other, it's just inspiring. I would suggest anybody. And they can use any kind of help, donations, if farmers have hay, and stuff like that. It goes a long way."

CIRT is holding an open house Saturday, November 16 from 2-5 PM.

It’s located at 305 Neumann Drive in East Peoria. Anyone is welcome to come and tour the facility, meet the instructors and most importantly, find out how you can help make these programs possible.

If you’d like to attend RSVP to Jenna@cirt.info or call 699-3710.
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