West

Wyoming

140619_her07_12Neal Stelting

Age: 36
Hometown: Pinedale
Cause: Horse Therapy for the Disabled

Sitting at dinner with friends in 2011, Stelting learned how three local parents drove more than 100 miles each way in order to pay for their kids to receive equine-assisted therapy, an increasingly popular type of body movement treatment that disabled children enjoy. Stelting felt Sublette County — a population of 10,000 covering a square mileage four times the size of Rhode Island — needed an option that didn’t require day trips from parents, costing them gas and a day of work. After Stelting raised enough funds for horses, trainers and a trailer, M.E.S.A. Therapeutic Horsemanship was created. The organization works through two school districts in the county to provide free, local, equine therapy in three sessions per year, each session comprising weekly meetings over about two months. Around 90 children from the ages of 7 to 17 with various disorders — ranging from cerebral palsy to autism or ADHD — ride the horses while working with an instructor to accomplish their therapy goals.

Says Stelting:

It’s inspirational. Some of the kids with the worst disabilities fight and work as hard as anyone you will see just to enjoy the experience.”

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