Children’s TherAplay, located just north of Indianapolis, provides children with special needs a foundation for developing life skills through innovative therapies, including equine-assisted physical and occupational therapies. With over seven hundred treatments a month, the horses, handlers, and side walkers spend a lot of time in the arena working with the children to tackle strength, balance, coordination, and sensory processing challenges. With all that time on their feet, or hooves, they needed to renovate their old “footing” which was a thin layer of dusty dirt set on an uneven base.
Premier Equestrian and Austin Wood from Diamond W Contracting, LLC gave the Children’s TherAplay arena a full upgrade, starting with laser leveling the base, then installing the OTTO Sport Base Mats and ArenaAid footing. This state-of-the-art mat system sits underneath the footing and will hold moisture throughout the day and reduce the concussion for both four legged and two legged workers.
Premier Equestrian was thrilled to be involved with this project. “TherAplay has put an emphasis on creating a solid therapeutic center for children while creating an inviting, safe and non-clinical environment. The arena is a critical part of the total therapies offered. By creating a stable, clean, non-dusty surface we helped them provide a superior place to heal,” said Premier Equestrian footing expert, Keri Homer. The walkers and horse handlers walk and average of eleven to thirteen miles per day on this surface. Most are volunteers and the new footing has helped them along with the horses.
United Way International has been involved with Children’s TherAplay for quite some time. They provided the grant that enabled the arena upgrade as well as a revamp of the therapy rooms and offices for the organization. Children’s TherAplay center has the potential to be a cornerstone for other equine assisted therapy centers in the future. Premier Equestrian prioritizes the health and safety of equine athletes and has been studying how arena surfaces impact equine biomechanics for over a decade.