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Making strides to independence

Tanner Brewer
By: Suzanne Bratkovich Special to The News Messenger
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Rider of the quarter Tanner Brewer What: Ride To Walk, a therapeutic horseback-riding program Where: 1630 Highway 193, Lincoln, near Sierra College Boulevard Phone: 434-0693 E-mail: ridetowalk@sbcglobal.net Web site: ridetowalk.org Tanner is the 9-year-old son of Kevin and Patti Brewer of Rocklin. He began the therapeutic riding program at Ride To Walk in November 2008 and was promoted to independent riding in February 2009. When Tanner first began riding, he was shy and quiet when interacting with staff and volunteers. Tanner’s confidence has grown tremendously as he now catches, grooms and tacks up his own horse with minimum assistance from volunteers. Tanner’s ability to quickly grasp riding skills and techniques makes him a perfect choice for “Independent Rider of the Quarter.” Ride To Walk of Lincoln is a therapeutic horseback-riding program founded by Dr. Kristine Corn in 1985. Its mission is to enhance the lives of children and young adults with neurological disabilities by providing innovative therapeutic horseback-riding activities that are recreational in nature and adapted to the individual’s needs and disabilities. The organization received nonprofit status in 1988 and is North American Handicapped Riding Association (NAHRA) certified. Children with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, attention deficit disorder, head trauma and sensory processing challenges are served. We will be facing 100 percent financial cutbacks because of the recent state budget cuts. It could be that our current riders will lose their funding, meaning that they would not be able to participate in riding therapy. If you would like to sponsor a rider, support our program through monetary donations or volunteer, go to the Web at ridetowalk.org. Our staff is also available to speak to community groups. To set up a speaking engagement, please contact Susan Brouwer, assistant director, at 434-0693. Suzanne Bratkovich is the physical therapist at Ride to Walk.