Therapeutic Riding Center
in Chambersburg, PA
July 24, 2010
On one of the hottest days on record,
the Franklin County Therapeutic Riding Center (FCTRC)
with the assistance of volunteers from the Chambersburg Rotary
Club embarked on a goal to expand its program with the addition
of a sensory trail. A sensory trail is a rich learning environment
along a path that consists of slopes, turns, varied footing,
natural sights and sounds, and man-made "sensory experiences".
Therapeutic riding students will guide their horses along the
sensory trail to challenge their balance, stimulate their senses
and encourage them to interact with the world around them.
Initiation of the Therapeutic Sensory
Trail made possible by Funding from Summit Endowment. Come with
us now and watch the progress as the Franklin County Therapeutic
Riding Center Sensory Trail takes shape!
Twas' the night before work, the truck
is loaded with beach sand and music station posts
6AM 85 degrees let's roll!
7:45 AM Leslie and Bob discussing the
plan of attack as members of Chambersburg Rotary arrive at the
Franklin County Therapeutic Riding Center located in Chambersburg
PA with tools and cold drinks.
Here's what we are gonna do!
Herb Station vision
Bridgette and Susie watch from a distance
as Ann and Connie start the Herb Station. The Herb Station was
designed to incorporate the sense of touch, smell and taste into
the therapeutic riding experience.
Cutting, digging, pick-axing and clearing.
No bosses, just workers!
Is this fun or what!
Rewards of a hard days work. Fresh horse
manure, compost and dirt is next, then the planting of herbs
donated by Plasterers Garden Center for the Franklin County Therapeutic
Riding Center Sensory Trail herb station.
Site of the Music Station.
The students will ride to the Music Station
where they will have the opportunity to make beautiful music
by striking a triangle, shaking bells on a stick, hitting the
wind chimes, or ringing the bell.
Holes are dug, poles placed...
Hanging posts were built by Jed Detrich
of Falling Spring Wood Shop in Chambersburg PA. "Thank-you
The trail coming up the hill to the music
station has been mulched.
Rubber interlocking pavers were donated
by Innovative Equine Systems of Minden, Nevada! Thank you! www.equinesystems.com
As you can imagine, everyone wants to
ring the bell! Also visible on the stations are the hand bells,
Boardwalk to the Beach vision -
Many of the local students have never
been to a beach. The Boardwalk to the Beach will remedy this!
Here we will give them the opportunity to ride the horse over
a boardwalk and note the sound and tone of the hoofs changing
from earth trail, to boardwalk and then again to beach soft sound.
Eventually there will be a lighthouse and beach sea creatures
to further enhance this experience.
A plan takes shape
I got sand in my shoes!
Oopsie! Watch out below!
Watch out for my thumb!
Look at that! Franklin County Therapeutic
Riding Center Sensory Trail boardwalk to the beach!
As if by magic, lunch appeared and was
provided by the Orchards Restaurant in Chambersburg PA. "Thank
Future plans being made for for a Rotary
project next spring. Green thumb volunteers are always welcome
as you may notice!
This is where parents are able to watch
the students during lessons at Franklin County Therapeutic Riding
Center or refreshments afterwards. Note the wheelchair access
of the picnic tables.
Moving right along, late fall brought
the addition of the run in shed that will be converted to a Rain
Forest Cafe with vibrant visuals of animals and scenes of a tropical
It looks plain-Jane now, but wait until
you see the finished product!
Here the ladies discuss the vision to
create the Rain Forest Cafe.
The 'other' four legged kids do not realize
it is not all fun and games. We're here to work!
These are artists that volunteered their
time and talent after learning about the goals. The reptiles
are from Haiti for inspiration. Who has better vibrant colors!
Our next big addition was a ten foot
lighthouse! This is overlooking the boardwalk to the beach. The
students riding up the hill will see it and we anticipate their
eyes anxious for the next station! As they approach the boardwalk
and ride to the beach, each will now be able to say they have
been to a beach and seen a lighthouse!
As the students ride up over the ridge,
this is their first glimpse of the boardwalk to the beach.
Blue tarps give the illusion of water.
The boardwalk, sand, lighthouse, and other beach decor further
enhances the beach experience.
The animals were painted by a group of
volunteer artists over the winter in the craft room at Northfield
of Menno Haven.
The animals were the talk of the residents
all winter and were displayed during the week of Mother's Day
in the lobby at Northfield.
Here the base coats of pain are applied
by volunteers from Chambersburg Hospital.
This is the finished Rain Forest Cafe
with all the animals moved in!
As you can imagine, the students are
wowed! Everyone's senses are stimulated by the bright vibrant
colors and animals that seem real.
The Railroad Crossing has
The Herb Garden
The Herb Garden has become
one of the favorite stops on the Sensory Trail. The variation
in texture, taste and smell of the herbs have proven to be quite
stimulating to the students.
A path was cut through the woods, ground
cover laid down, and then covered in a thick blanked or mulch.
C'mon down for a visit. Any and
all donations are meowfully appreciated!
Next phase of the Franklin County Therapeutic
Riding Center Sensory Trail will be the Enchanted Forest,
Rain Forest Cafe and the Railroad Crossing.
With hopes of the entire trail being mulched.
For donations, sponsorship and volunteers,
please contact Leslie Bennett at 717-263-3936 firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the FCTRC website at www.horseridingtherapy.org and
specify your donation is for the Sensory Trail.
If your church, group or organization
would like a picture for your website, feel free to copy from
here. If you would like a high resolution image for publication,
drop us an email and it will be sent to you or burned to a disc
Chambersburg Franklin County Therapeutic
Riding Center is located -
181 Franklin Farm Lane
Chambersburg, PA 17202
Franklin County Therapeutic Riding Center
Link to the newspaper story by the Record
This page sponsored by Seawear horse jewelry