Londyn is one of HETRAs many success stories. She had participated in traditional physical, operational, and speech therapies for over a year, but when she came to HETRA, it was different. Her mom explained that such therapies “aren’t always fun,” but at HETRA, it was a new, happy experience.
“HETRA has taken therapy and learning from being a job to being a joy,” Londyn’s mom shares. Like many children with developmental delays, it takes a lot of intense therapy to achieve simple tasks like walking, talking, and jumping. As Londyn progressed in HETRAs programs, her strength grew and after just two weeks of riding, she jumped for the very first time.
As she continued working with her horse Jewel, volunteers helped and encouraged her to use her words as she directed the horse. Now, Londyn is able to say “Momma.” Londyn’s mom is so grateful to HETRA, and shares that she hopes that her daughter’s experiences at HETRA “lead to a love of horses for her entire life.”
HETRA currently serves over 115 unique participants just like Londyn. Participants include both children and adults with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, head or spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, and strokes.
They also currently offer an Adaptive Carriage Driving program. This unique program gives participants who don’t feel comfortable riding a horse a special alternative that still brings many benefits. This program is ideal for participants who are unable to ride due to weight, balance, fatigue, fear of heights, or other issues. They learn and benefit from the interaction with the horse and being able to control the horse from a carriage seat.
HETRA has grown tremendously over the years. It started with just one participant, one horse, and three volunteers. Since the beginning of the organization in 1989, founders Steve and Janet Henthorn have expanded and adapted HETRA to be able to serve more participants and change more lives. Now, HETRA has 19 therapy horses, 21 PATH Intl certified instructors, and over 115 participants.
Over the last few years, volunteers at HETRA have donated over 18,000 volunteer hours each year. The growth and progress that participants benefit from at HETRA wouldn’t be possible without the amazing volunteers. They work hands-on with participants and find their work very rewarding.
To learn more about volunteering with HETRA, visit their website below. There, you’ll also find information about their programs. If you live close to the Gretna, Nebraska area, you can stop by and tour their facility. Free tours are offered twice a month - visit the website below to learn more.
How to Contact This Farm:
10130 S. 222nd Street
Gretna, NE 68028