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Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding

Equine Photography, Equine, Horses, Volunteer, Bridles, Horse Therapy

Last week I traveled to Tennessee to visit my dear friend, Chandler, in Loudon County, Tennessee. While I was there I visited Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, "STAR" to photography their classes and wonderful program. STAR works with people who have physical, mental and neurological disabilities. With the assistance of staff and volunteers, they are able to use the amazing therapeutic qualities of horses to foster personal achievement.

STAR began as Lynn Petr’s Therapeutic Recreation Master’s thesis project at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The program only started with one horse, and a few volunteers and riders in 1987. Their program grew and developed and later they were donated a 47 acre equestrian facility (where they are now located).

Tack, Horse Tack, Bridles, Horse Bridle, Horse Photography, Equine Photography, Horses, Therapy

I was completely blown away by all the organization, thought and passion at STAR. I met with their staff and was welcomed to photograph their facility. Their barn, property was immaculate!

Horse Grooming, Groom, Horses, Horse brushes, Horse Therapy, Horse Photography, Equine Photography

Each horse has their own tack, including halters, bridles, and even their own grooming boxes including curry combs, coat, and mane and tail brushes.

STAR, Shangri-La Therapeutic Riding Academy, Luna, Horse, Horse Photography, Horse Portraits, Gray Horse, Cross Ties

Luna, getting curried and brushed.

Horse grooming, groom, horses, horse photography, equine, equine photography, STAR, Shangri-La Therapeutic Riding Academy, Curry Comb, Volunteer

horse, horse grooming, horses, funny horse, equine, horse photography

Before each class, the horses are all brushed thoroughly and then tacked up. Mater enjoyed some good scratches on his belly!

horse therapy, horses, therapy, volunteer, horse volunteers, horse photography
horses, horse photos, horse photography, grooming, horse grooming, equine therapy, equine photography

STAR has mounting block and unique lift that helps people to mount the horses with ease. I watched as the volunteers stood steadily on each side of the horse to assist the the rider onto the horses for their class.

horses, horse therapy, horse photography, equine, horse mount, horseback riding, horse riding, equestrian
Horseback riding, horse photography, equine, disability, therapy, horse therapy
horseback riding, horse therapy, equine, horses, horse photography, equestrian, trotting, therapy

During each class, the riders were accompanied by their trainer and volunteers. It made my heart melt to see the riders so excited on their horses trotting and performing some versatility style activities.

After the class had completed my friend, and former volunteer, gave me a tour of the remainder of the barn where I met Lynn, and the rest of the horses. It was such an inspiring day and I am looking forward to the next visit to Shangri-La Therapeutic Riding Academy in a few months!

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