About Our Organization
Dr. Mark and Sue Wheeler established Special Troopers Adaptive Riding School (STARS) in 1984 with the dream to help those with disabilities experience a life changing form of therapy. Since that time STARS has quietly grown from a start-up program to one of the oldest Equine Assisted programs in the Midwest. Over the years, hundreds of clients have experienced the benefits of therapeutic riding with significant physical, emotional, and/or cognitive breakthroughs. Through the movement of the specially trained equine and instruction by our Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) certified instructors, the benefits to clients can be transforming and empowering. STARS clients, volunteers, donors, and board members have become a family, facilitating long-lasting and powerful change in the Siouxland community.
We are very fortunate to have some amazing animals to feed throughout the year but they require a lot of hay. We are able to hay and bale the majority of our pastures each summer but cannot maximize our hay potential simply due to a lack of storage. At STARS we have an existing hay shed and a couple other hay storage spaces. With an additional hay shed we would be able store the majority, if not all, of the hay needed for the year that was baled from our own pastures. This kind of savings year after year would continue to allow STARS to provide equine activites & therapies at the 75% discount that each participant recieves. It would be extremely beneficial to the programs sustainability into the future.
STARS has specially trained horses that provide an amazing service to many Siouxlanders. Each year STARS seeks out a sponsor for each horse to provide their entire years worth of hay, grain, hoof care, dental care, and annual vaccinations. For each horse that lives at STARS the sponsorship for their basic needs is around $2600.00. STARS was fortunate to take on four new horses this summer. With four new additions to the herd, STARS is seeking out that additional funding to provide care for those horses in 2019.
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