The Atco/Hocking College Therapeutic Riding Program recently participated in the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities annual "Disabilities Awareness Festival."
The festival promotes the capabilities of individuals with disabilities in the community. This is the second year the Atco/Hocking College program participated in the event.
The Therapeutic Riding Program started in the fall of 2012. Sarah Baker, owner of EMBE Acres donates the use of her facility for one weekend a semester and during this weekend students from Hocking get a chance to work with individuals from Atco. The class is supervised by Heath Harter, Hocking College instructor, and Tami Harter, a certified riding instructor through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and a workshop specialist at Atco.
The partnership between Hocking College and Atco continues to grow. In 2009, individuals came from Atco once or twice a semester to learn horsemanship skills and decorate the horses. Since then it has grown to four visits a semester plus the weekend program. The visits during the semester helps prepare both the individuals from Atco and Hocking College students for the weekend when the individuals from Atco get to ride the horses.