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Center For Therapeutic Riding Of The East End Strengthens The Community

Originally Posted: October 20, 2010

Brittany Buckley

Karen Bocksel and Diana Sheil smile for the cause at the CTREE "Harvest to Holiday" celebration. (Brittany Buckley)

Water Mill - Horseback riding can strengthen the soul. The Center for Therapeutic Riding of the East End held a "Harvest to Holiday" celebration in Water Mill on Saturday, October 16, to strengthen the spirit as well. The benefit gathered an inspirational crowd of professional instructors, volunteers and children to benefit CTREE, a local organization that provides horseback riding lessons and equine assisted activities for children and teens with developmental disabilities.

Local harvest spices up the "Harvest to Holiday" celebration.

Founded in 2008, CTREE specializes in private lessons, innovating special education school groups and field trips that bond participants with the horses and instructors, giving children with disabilities the experience of a lifetime.

Managing Director and professional instructor, Karen J. Bocksel explained that the horses give children a positive therapeutic experience each and every day they ride. Bocksel remarked "It's a huge responsibility to tell a horse where to go and have it listen and respond to you." She further remarked "The horse's movement is three dimensional so it stimulates a human walking. The horse facilitates their balance and relaxes their muscles, it also strengthens their core muscles."

The afternoon brought smiles, the ripened fruits of the fall's harvest as well as demonstrations to learn how to spread the beauty of the holiday season into your home. Robby Nixon of The Pampered Chef showcased quick and easy solutions to entertaining guests at home as well as mouth-watering cooking demonstrations that she effortlessly baked to perfection.

The benefit featured a harvest farm stand of local produce, lovely flower arrangements, sweet treats from the Water Mill Cupcake Company that so generously donated the delicious cupcakes guests enjoyed; toys for the little ones and even a gift boutique of exclusive handmade pieces. Guests were treated with wine donated by the Wolffer Estate and enjoyed the colorful, artistic landscape at the Ark Project Sculpture Park, a public art display of gigantic sculptures that spread across nearly 100 acres of green. A Chinese auction and a raffle for incredible prizes, (including a weekend getaway at a hotel in New York City), made for an unforgettable afternoon.

Bocksel's son, Bradley has been an active CTREE participant for years and he was happy to share a remarkable story. He explained that "A doctor told one of the riders he could never walk again and after taking lessons at CTREE he can walk with a walker now." Bradley added that "Horses communicate with the riders and are able to deal with the pressure that children with disabilities deal with everyday."

For more information go to ctreeny.org.

Horses graze through the beautiful acres of green at the CTREE event.


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