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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Healing with horses

Dr.+Priscilla+Lightsey%2C+DPT%2C+Program+Director+Donelle+Beal+and+Laura+Vann+are+PATH+Intl.+Certified+instructors+on+staff+with+Courtney+Cares+that+work+with+children%2C+adults+and+veterans+in+the+equine+therapy+program.
Photo by Meredith Seaver

Dr. Priscilla Lightsey, DPT, Program Director Donelle Beal and Laura Vann are PATH Intl. Certified instructors on staff with Courtney Cares that work with children, adults and veterans in the equine therapy program.

Reflecting the Texas A&M core values, Courtney Cares provides Aggie volunteers with the opportunity to explore the therapeutic horsemanship industry.
Courtney Cares was started in memory of Courtney Grimshaw Fowler, an international equestrian who graduated from Texas A&M in 1985. Her family wanted to honor her by creating an equine therapy program which helps children, adults and veterans. The program holds close ties to A&M and currently resides under the Texas A&M School of Veterinary medicine within its biomedical science program. Horses for the program are provided by the Corps of Cadets Parsons Mounted Cavalry.
Executive director of Courtney Cares, Nancy Krenek, has been doing equine therapy for over twenty years and is currently the CEO of the Ride On Center for Kids which she said oversees the mechanics of the Courtney Cares program.
“It is one of the best ways to get folks moving, talking, living and loving again,” Krenek said. “I highly recommend it. I am so honored that Texas A&M invited myself and the ROCK staff to partner with Parsons Mounted Cavalry at TAMU to help serve children, adults and veterans.”
Krenek said she has seen the incredible benefits of the equine therapy program first hand and said many families testify to the amazing changes that occur that benefit the entire family.
“It is a fabulous training for the body, especially for someone with neurodevelopmental challenges, such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome, autism spectrum, head injury, multiple sclerosis, strokes and countless others challenges,” Krenek said.
Donelle Beal, program director for Courtney Cares, said with the spring semester underway, she encourages students to volunteer for the upcoming fall program this September.
“Our main purpose [with volunteers] is to expose Texas A&M students to the therapeutic riding industry in hopes that when they leave A&M and go off into the world they would be supporters and leaders of the industry,” Beal said.
Beal said the program sees about twenty clients a week for therapeutic horsemanship lessons and therapy, and there is a veterans program held on Wednesday nights that is operated at the Calvary with their horses.
Priscilla Lightsey, Class of 1980, is a physical therapist at the program who helps with assessments and trains the volunteers and horses for the program.
“When children partner with the horses, there’s something about the interaction with the horse that creates gains,” Lightsey said. “I believe that the horse and human connection is a significant factor in the success of EEAT [Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy], and the relationship may be intangible, yet it is powerful. I’ve seen the healing powers of the horse help many EEAT participants, both here and abroad.”
More information on the Courtney Cares therapy program can be found on their website: https://www.courtneycares.org/contact-us/.

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