Horses helping kids: Special needs therapy organization expanding in Republic

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REPUBLIC, Mo. A little organization with a big mission is on the grow. Dynamic Strides Therapy is a unique group that uses horses to provide therapy for special needs kids. It is now constructing a new facility and expanding it's offerings.

"Some of the non verbal kids might have some of the their word on a horse. It is a really strong impact," stated Brandi O'Reilly.

Physical Therapist Jennifer Garner stated, "Sometimes you will hear words. But the biggest thing I think is the smile on the kid's faces." She added, "It is absolutely amazing from week one to week eight seeing the differences with these kids."

All the progress being made has to be put on hold this time of year.

O'Reilly explained, "We are in a barn that you can't do year round therapy in. It gets too cold in the winters."

Now they are on the grow in more ways that one. This new facility on Sawyer Road will be a full clinic offering kids physical and speech therapy, combining horse therapy and a sensory gyms with rock climbing walls, ball pit, and a zip line.

"It is going to be very helpful for families of kids with special needs to be able to come and get all of their needs covered under one roof," garner said.

Right now, families have to go to Kansas City, Columbia or St. Louis for all these services combined. This new place will make it easier and more efficient for kids to get the help the need.

O'Reilly said, "They can come to our place which is located on a farm and they can get outside and ride a horse...just to have fun while working hard."

The organization says, for it's clinical services, it will accept insurance and Medicaid. There will also be a scholarship program available.

"I am so thankful to be a part of this new opportunity," Garner expressed. "I think it is going to be wonderful for the community."