Tag Archives: Heritage Christian Stables

Riding as therapy at Heritage Christian Stables

23 Jul

A few weeks ago, I attended a check-presentation event at Heritage Christian Stables on Salt Rd. It was the first time I’d visited the facility in more than 10 years, since I wrote a piece about them when I was still blogging for the Democrat and Chronicle.

I was pleased for the chance to get reacquainted with the stables, and to be reminded of the great service they provide for our community.

Heritage Christian Stables, a community impact program of Heritage Christian Services, is an inclusive, therapeutic riding facility for children and adults with physical, social or developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida and many more.

“We serve a little bit of everything,” said Heritage Christian Stables director Tara Kuba. “From individuals with emotional and mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, (to) participants on the autism spectrum.” Some of their students are in wheelchairs, and others are nonverbal, so staff members teach them some signs to communicate what they’d like a horse to do.

“We never have two lessons that look the same,” she added.

It turns out that horseback riding is great therapy for all of these conditions, as explained on the Heritage Christian Stables website:

Therapeutic horsemanship impacts a person’s physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual well being. The horse’s walk mimics the three dimensional movement of the human walk, offering riders the rhythmic movement and opportunities for improvement in balance, symmetry, and muscle strengthening. Participants are provided with cognitive tasks to improve following directions, sequencing, and meeting educational goals. Psychologically, it’s empowering for the rider to be able to control a 1,000-pound animal and develop a bond with a horse that positively affects the participant’s self-esteem and confidence. Therapeutic horsemanship allows people to strengthen their bodies and minds, freeing their spirit to do the things they never thought possible. 

Of course, it’s also just plain FUN.

Heritage Christian Stables operates on 13 beautiful acres at 1103 Salt Rd., just south of State. They currently have 12 full-size horses and two miniature horses. The smaller ones are used for students who might be intimidated by the larger horses; they can sit in a small cart pulled by a mini and drive it around the ring.

As with most businesses, the pandemic presented some real challenges for the stables; they’re only just now getting back to being fully staffed, for example. But they came through stronger than ever, even recently introducing a new program for veterans in partnership with CompeerCorp.

Tara said,

We have approximately 10 veterans who come out and ride or groom and care for the horses on a weekly basis. … They thoroughly enjoy the horses and interacting with them. They are becoming more engaged in our activities and are building relationships here with the horses and other people.

During the pandemic, the stables also expanded their program for community riders. “People didn’t have a lot they could do,” Tara said, so we had them start riding horses.” Still, by far most of the 100 or so students who take lessons at Heritage Christian Stables do so for therapeutic reasons. The facility offers a safe, non-judgmental place to learn new skills, make new friends, and achieve to the best of their abilities. The social, emotional and physical benefits students get from the simple joy of riding a horse are changing their lives.

To do this great work, Heritage Christian Stables relies on community support. Tara explained, “We’re a little different from other commercial stables (which) also do horse boarding, horse training, maybe tack sales or some other revenue streams. Here our only revenue stream is our lessons.” They charge students less than half of the actual cost for every lesson, subsidizing the balance through donations.

The continued success of their therapeutic horsemanship program also depends on volunteers, who help coordinate special projects and run lessons. Riders may require as many as three people to assist them – one “side walker” on each side of the horse and one “horse leader” responsible for guiding the equine.

To find out more about Heritage Christian Stables, call (585) 872-2540, see their website here or check out their Facebook page. Also, click here to learn more about becoming a volunteer. Experience is not required, and all training is provided.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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(posted 7/21/2022)

Webster BID presents Wine Walk proceeds to Heritage Christian Stables

10 Jul

The Village of Webster’s regular Wine Walks are not only a great social occasion and chance to try some terrific new wines; the events also benefit local organizations.

The very popular Wine Walks are sponsored by the village’s Business Improvement District (BID), which donates the proceeds from each one to local nonprofit agencies. The most recent Wine Walk, held May 21, attracted almost 200 participants, and raised $750 for that month’s designated charity, Heritage Christian Stables, located on Salt Rd.

A community impact program of Heritage Christan Services, Heritage Christian Stables specializes in therapeutic riding programs for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Presenting the check to Heritage Christian Stables Director Tara Defendorf-Kuba (center, with Harry Potter the horse) are BID representatives Kevin Finn (left) and Janice Raffaele-Addamo, from Finn’s Garage.

The next Webster Wine Walk is scheduled for Friday, July 15. Visit www.websterbid.com for more information. 

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 7/10/2022)

A Coronavirus update from local agencies and businesses

13 Mar

As the very real concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus continue to grow, I have been getting daily emails from organizations around town who want to reassure their clients that they’re taking it seriously, or who have announced cancellations.

Below are direct quotes from emails I have received so far, and I will continue to update this blog as I receive them. If your organization has information you would like me to share, please email me at missyblog@gmail.com.

Balance Webster 

As the coronavirus COVID-19 dominates the news and is affecting more and more people and communities, we thought it was appropriate to share our thoughts with you.

We’re staying up with keeping a clean studio like mad yogis! We’re regularly cleaning blocks, eye bags, blankets, and door knobs and have cleaners, soaps and sanitizers readily available for you. If you have your own props, we certainly encourage you to bring them.

If it makes more sense for you to practice from home look for some live streaming from Erica, perhaps very soon!

With love,

The Balance staff 💛

Webster Public Library 

Due to updated recommendations from the New York Commissioner of Health, we have decided to suspend all of our upcoming programs and events for the time being. This includes all daytime, evening, and weekend programs, but does not include individual bookings of our study rooms and Community Room. The reasoning behind this is that we would like to do our part in limiting the spread of the virus via large gatherings of people, a recent precaution by the New York Commissioner of Health.

If you are currently registered for one of the upcoming programs we have cancelled, we will be in touch with you in the coming weeks once we decide if and when we can reschedule. Once programs resume as normal, we will let everyone know immediately—stay tuned! We’ll be back!

The library will remain open its regular hours at this time, continuing our increased cleaning schedule. Don’t forget to utilize our Drive-Up, Pick-Up service—if there’s an item you want, let us know in advance and then call us when you’re here. You pull up out front and we’ll bring your items out to your car.

As always, if you have questions or concerns for us, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (585) 872-7075, or email webster.reference@libraryweb.org.

Webster Central PTSA

In accordance with guidance from Monroe County Department of Health, effective IMMEDIATELY, all PTSA events and meetings will be suspended until Sunday, April 12. We will continue to evaluate and update regarding the developing situation. Thank you for your patience.

(Missy’s note: so far that does NOT include Community Arts Day, which is scheduled for April 18. But stay tuned for any updates about that.)

Heritage Christian Stables

We have entered the third week of our Winter Classic Session of lessons. Registration for Spring Session has begun. If you have a rider who would like to be in the session, please contact us. The volunteer session for Spring will be on When to Help soon.

We have been assessing the COVID-19 situation, and taking measures to keep volunteers, riders and staff safe. As of now, with our small class sizes, lessons are proceeding as scheduled. If the decision is made to cancel, we will let everyone know as needed. PLEASE stay home if you are feeling unwell, and wash your hands before coming to the stable. We have hand sanitizer in the barn and the observation area as well.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.


News from Heritage Christian Stables

10 Jan


I’m pleased to pass along this press release from one of Webster’s finest community organizations, Heritage Christian Stables.

Heritage Christian Stables, located at 1103 Salt Road, offers therapeutic horseback riding programs to children and adults with disabilities. Their programs have proven results, improving riders’ physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.

Late last year, Heritage hosted a holiday party for their outstanding group of dedicated volunteers. More than 70 attended, and spent the evening playing games and enjoying food, drinks, and desserts. Volunteers received special gifts and prizes, and a chance to redeem their “volunteer bucks” (earned for every hour spent volunteering) for items like apparel, gift cards, and lessons.

There are lots of opportunities for you to become a volunteer as well. You can volunteer one time at special events, commit regularly for a whole season to help with gardening, staff the thrift store, or become a therapeutic riding volunteer as a side walker, horse leader or other helper.

For more information about all these opportunities and more, log onto the Heritage Christian Stables website.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.