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Tarleton’s therapeutic riding program gives participants chance to become cowboys; special kids rodeo happens this week.

Photo/TSU Media Relations

TSU Media Relations

Texan Therapeutic Riding, formerly TREAT Riding, will host its biannual Special Kids Rodeo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at the Tarleton State University Equine Center.


The event, held every April and October, offers kids and adults with special needs an opportunity to experience riding in a safe and fun environment.

“In addition to a safe, fun-filled rodeo day for our friends with special needs, it offers an excellent opportunity for our community, local schools, and our Tarleton State family to practice one of our core values, service,” said Shelby Huxen, TTR program instructor.


Texan Therapeutic Riding is an equine-assisted therapeutic riding program within the Tarleton State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources that harnesses the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding.

Accredited through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, the program provides participants with positive physical, mental and emotional benefits in a fun and engaging environment. Animal assisted activities have been shown to improve self-confidence, self-awareness and discipline.


Huxen said equine-assisted activity can be an effective treatment for many types of disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, head injuries, stroke, emotional disturbances, developmental delays, spina bifida, scoliosis and poliomyelitis.

“As the program continues to grow, we feel that changing our name to Texan Therapeutic Riding encompasses everything we do,” said Huxen. “The name keeps our Tarleton Texan spirit alive and on the forefront of our program, as well as promotes what most believe being a Texan is all about: being a cowboy.”



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