The Rising Stars Therapeutic Riding Center is a cooperative effort between the Porath and Dickard families, the owner of Primary Therapy Source, Jan Yingst, a couple of enthusiastic Physical and Occupational therapists at Primary Therapy Source, and several dedicated and committed volunteers. The concept began with a need and several individuals interested in filling that need. Hallie Jo Porath is a smiley 8-year old who loves to ride. She happens to be blind and have cerebral palsy as a result of being born 14 weeks early. After moving back to the Twin Falls area in 2006, Hallie's parents (Poraths) and grandparents (Dickards) really wanted to see Hallie get a chance at some form of therapeutic horseback riding. The small program that had been operating in the area had just closed down, and the closest option was about 70 miles away. When Hallie was 21/2 we started taking her every other week to the Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicap in Hailey, Idaho. This was a great introduction to therpaeutic riding, and we cotinued this pattern for 11/2 years until we decided it was time to put our heads together and offer this awsome service to other children and eventually adults in the Magic Valley Area.
Hence, during the summer of 2009 we launched a pilot program cooperative with Primary Therapy Source owner and Physical Therapist Jan Yingst, one of her Occupational Therapy Assistants, Tara Parsons who has been a Certified Therapuetic Riding Instructor for 10 years, and several eager volunteers. During the summer of 2009 we operated one afternoon per week, working with about 14 kids per week. The program was received so well that we formed a board of directors and applied for non-profit status. We've expanded to offer both therapeutic riding and hippotherapy a total of 3 days/week.
For people involved, the physical progress and visible pleasure witnessed by therapists, volunteers, and parents make therapeutic riding and hippotherapy fun and effective treatment option. Rising Stars plans to serve children and adults in the Magic Valley area. We will work with therapists in the area to provide a location for hippotherapy, while also providing therapeutic riding by a certified therapeutic riding instructor. Currently we are working on getting more riding instructors certified with the intention of being able to expand further.
We are currently a PATH member center with 501(c)(3) status.