The REATH Center began in 2006. It was started because our daughter, Sabrina Reath Garrison, was born with a grade four hydrocephalus in 1999. This basically means she had a stroke. She has a mild case of cerebral palsy and her left side is affected. Sabrina had been in a program called First Steps until she turned three years old. At this time, she exited out of the program due to her age. When she was a little over three years old, Sammy found a magazine that had an article in it about therapeutic riding. Therapeutic riding is where people ride horses for therapy. We had heard of this before, but had never seen it. The center was located in Shelbyville KY. We decided to drive to the center and check it out. Shelbyville was about 92 miles from us. We decided after visiting the center, to take Sabrina there for therapy because we didn’t have any therapy like this in our area. We went there on Saturdays for two years, weather permitting.
After Sabrina had been riding there for two years, Sammy and I decided to begin the journey of starting a therapeutic riding center in Campbellsville, KY. It took us 1 ½ years to complete the process of writing a business plan, getting our 501C3, and for me to get my instructor certification through PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). PATH is an international organization for riding instructors. We began therapeutic riding in 2007 by leasing five acres of land. After one year in operation we had built a barn and had an area for outdoor riding. We started with four riders, one horse, and eight volunteers. We rode for eleven weeks the first year. We have been riding every year since 2007. Every year has been very successful. We have riders that come from all around our area. One rider travels about 45 miles to get to our center. We have had riders that have developed social skills, improved balance, overcome sensory issues, began walking, and increased range of movement. This year we had eight riders. There is such a great need for this type of therapy in our area. There are a very limited numbers of PATH certified centers in KY. The closest center to us is about 75 miles away.