7Everyday Hero Margarita Gutierrez uses horses to help people

Volunteering at The Right Step

Winston Churchill once said, "There's something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of a man."

Horse therapy has proven to work wonders. 7Everyday Hero Margarita Gutierrez can tell you that horse therapy works wonders for humans. She says horses understand humans, without a word ever spoken.

"A horse knows if you have some anxiety issues. A horse knows if you have some balance issues. A horse knows if you're sad, or if you're happy," said Christine Remy, chair of the board of directors at The Right Step.

At The Right Step, they've harnessed the healing power of horses to help people.

"We provide lessons on basic horsemanship and riding skills for people with disabilities of all ages," Remy said.

The therapeutic horseback riding program at Littleton's Coventry Farms relies on more than 200 volunteers like Margarita Gutierrez.

"I do a variety things. I come and feed the horses breakfast, lunch or dinner. I also help with the lessons as a horse leader or a side walker," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez helps The Right Step change lives of more than 100 people a year. People like Lizzy Mitchell, who comes here every week to ride Eli.

"Oh, he is the best.  I swear he loves to cuddle," Lizzy smiled.

Lizzy has learned a lot from Eli.

"He is always so gentle with his riders. He knows when to push you and when to pull back. He has helped me with my depression and anxiety and he has helped me with a backbone," Lizzy said.

Controlling a horse properly can be an empowering experience.

"You are in control of a one thousand pound animal when you're up there. So, I am pretty sure that's a major confidence booster," Lizzy said.

"You may not have a lot of power in other areas of your life, but here you are in charge! And you're doing something real," added Remy.

None of this can happen without volunteers like Margarita Gutierrez.

"Any time that we say we have a need, Margarita bends over backward to be there," said Deb Dennis, volunteer coordinator at The Right Step.

"It is an opportunity to give back, and more importantly you see the power of what's being done here," Gutierrez said.

To learn more about The Right Step, go to www.therightstepinc.org.

Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.

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