Pegasus Riding Academy celebrates 4 decades of helping people with autism through equestrian therapy – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A local program is celebrating four decades of helping people with autism through horse therapy. Eyewitness News takes you to Pegasus Riding Academy in Northeast Philadelphia.

This trot around the arena is anything but ordinary for Brandon Budd, 18, and his horse Rafino. Brendan is autistic.

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Brendan tells CBS3 he feels confident riding.

He has been riding for seven years at Pegasus Academy and through horse therapy he has developed skills including concentration and sequencing.

“When Brendan and I first started working together we had a really hard time building, first we do this then we do that and over the years we’ve been able to build it to memorize patterns in 10 steps,” CEO Teresa said. Fletcher said.

Executive Director Teresa Fletcher says Brendan has become independent enough to groom and walk his own horse, even competing at the Devon Horse Show and that horses and people naturally go well together.

“Horses have a three-dimensional swing gate, so their movement action mimics ours, which helps a lot of our riders focus because of that repetitive motion,” Fletcher said.

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Brendan’s grandfather, Rich, who first introduced his grandson to Pegasus, saw a positive change.

“He has responsibilities with the horse and I think he likes that,” Rich said.

After a long day of training, Brendan showed CBS3 how his partner relaxes.

He says the horse likes beers.

Yes, Rafino was fending off two colds.

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Apparently it’s an old cowboy trick. If your horse can’t sweat, you give it beer and it helps it sweat faster.

Clyde P. Johnson