Mother and son volunteers help run an equine therapy program to help people mentally and physically

Horses used as therapy for kids and adults

CASTLE ROCK - On Saturday mornings, when most people are sleeping in, a local mother and son volunteer to help change lives.

Paula and Kyle Reazin give their time with a Castle Rock equine therapy project.

"It is Colorado Horse Power.  It is a therapeutic horse riding organization for kids and adults, mentally, physically, emotionally disabled," said Ranell Powers, board member with Colorado Horse Power.

The focus and discipline it takes to ride a horse empowers students to tackle whatever life throws at them.

Horse Power is a non-profit which relies on dedicated volunteers like Paula and her son, Kyle. They give their time every Saturday beginning at 8 A.M.

"We are here in Castle Rock.  They live out near D.I.A.  They are here first thing, every Saturday morning.  Rain, Hail, snow, it doesn't matter they are the first people here," said Powers.

"I play to their strengths.  So, when someone tells me this is a disabled kid, I say: 'Well, he can do this, so let’s do what he can do instead of worrying about what he can't do,'" said Kyle Reazin.

"Some of them when they arrive they can't even sit up straight.  They're laying over the neck of the horse.  And before the year is up they're sitting up straight and holding onto the reins," said Paula Reazin.

At Colorado Horse Power it is all about building strength both mentally and physically. Just ask Michael Holtvluwer. He has been coming to Horse Power for years.

Michael's trusty dog, Fender, provides some assistance day to day, but the highlight of his week is riding Ariel, a horse that knows no limitations despite having just one eye.

"It helps me balance," said Michael.

"In addition to helping his stability and helping his balance it also has helped his self confidence," adds his father, Eddie Holtvluwer.

That healing bond between horse and rider might not happen if it were not for the countless hours given by volunteers Paula and Kyle Reazin.

"I like the volunteers," said Michael.

"They don't get paid but they get the same satisfaction as we as parents get: seeing the smiles on these kids faces and how much they love these horses," said Eddie.

To learn how to help Colorado Horse Power go to www.coloradohorsepower.org