MALVERN, PA - Since 1969, the Thorncroft Equestrian Center in Malvern has helped tens of thousands of students with disabilities ride horses as a form of medicine. It is one of the oldest therapeutic equestrian centers in the United States and on December 13th for National Day of the Horse, PHL17's Matt Alba visited their farm to ride with some of the students. The director of Thorncroft, Sallie Dixon, says they serve 350 students per week!
Thorncroft specializes in therapeutic horseback riding for both children and adults with mental, emotional and physical disabilities.
In 2018, the Farm gave out more than $75,000 in scholarship to students who, due to financial constraints, were unable to afford the therapy offered at Thorncroft.
Scientific studies and workshops of hippotherapy, biomechanics, and equine physiology have been hosted at the farm. Through these studies, the owners of Thorncroft say they've learned that the movement of the horse teaches the human body the correct motion of walking.Students who have never had the ability to walk correctly can experience the sensation while riding. This extraordinary experience provides balance, strength, mobility, and improved self-esteem.
For the past 10 years, Christine Del Paggio, who was paralyzed from the neck down 26 years ago, has been riding horses at Thorncroft. Watch her incredible story below!