Round Rock Edition | December 2021

REGIONAL NONPROFIT

BY FERNANDA FIGUEROA

“WHAT’S INTERESTING ABOUT THE HORSES, IT’S NOT JUST PHYSICAL … IT’S EMOTIONAL.” NANCY O’MEARA KRENEK, FOUNDER AND CEO

According to a 201718 study, participants in equine- assisted therapies, like those at ROCK, can see a variety of health improvements.

Established in 1998, Ride on Center for Kids is a Central Texas nonprot that focuses on helping people physically and emotionally through horseback riding. (Photos courtesy Ride on Center for Kids)

HEALING THROUGH HORSES

Improvement in independence Improvement in life skills Improvement in mental health Improvement in following directions Improvement in posture Decrease in PTSD symptoms

94.6%

88.5%

A 2017-18 study showed the therapeutic eects of horseback riding. According to ROCK, participants see improvements in muscle tone, strength, exibility and balance to cognitive, behavioral, communication and emotional improvements.

86.6%

86.3%

ROCK established a veterans program in 2005 and a women’s-only veteran program in 2014.

83.6%

74.2%

SOURCE: ROCKCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

RideOn Center for Kids Local nonprot works to heal variety of individuals with horses I n 2019-20 the Ride on Center for Kids served 115 leadership and trust. ROCK began to help veterans in 2005 after

children, 86 veterans and their families, and 64 adults by providing equine-assisted activities and therapies to help heal physical, cognitive and emotional challenges. “What’s interesting about the horses, it’s not just physical … it’s emotional,” founder and CEO Nancy O’Meara Krenek said. “There are people that believe it’s spiritual getting to partner with this magnicent animal.” Established in 1998, ROCK is a nonprot serving the Central Texas area to help individuals heal with horses. Programs oered include physical therapy; speech therapy; therapeutic horsemanship; and equine-assisted learning programs for schools, juvenile programs and individuals, ROCK Marketing Manager Christina Clary said. Krenek said she started the program to help indi- viduals nd their unlimited potential and because, to her, healing through horses is extremely powerful as they provide constant movement and instill

receiving a call from Fort Hood requesting assistance to help put amputees on horses for rehabilitation, becoming one of the rst organizations that started working with veterans and horses, Krenek said. In the veterans program, veterans learn horse- manship and leadership, lessons that are extremely benecial as they learn to lead themselves again and to trust others and themselves again, Krenek said. “It is a really eective way not only to help veter- ans physically but to help them emotionally,” Krenek said. “It does something for them so that they can take the next step in their life.” The program is also made up entirely of veteran volunteers, going with the military philosophy of never leaving a comrade behind, Krenek added. ROCK started a women’s-only veterans program in 2014 and runs a similar program at Texas A&M University. Since 2011, Krenek has taught a credit course for pre-medicine and pre-nursing students.

As of 2019, ROCK had 31 horses in its therapy and activity programs.

RideOn Center for Kids 2050 Rockride Lane, Georgetown 512-930-7625 https://rockride.org

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ROUND ROCK EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

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