CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. — On a Wednesday evening, the Cedar Springs Public Library was filled with all the things you'd typically find in a library. There were books, children to read the books, and comfortable chairs to sit on while reading those books.
Oh, and there's a horse too.
The Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding stopped at the library as part of traveling event they have going on called "Stories With Silver and Friends." Children have the opportunity to relax and read aloud to horses. It's part of National Reading Month, which happens every March.
Staff members at the center know firsthand how what good reading companions horses make.
"Our riders have the opportunity to read to their horse before and after their class. A lot of our kids, if they're working with a disability, reading can be a challenge. But reading to a trusted friend, and someone that is going to just listen and be very patient can be a great thing," said Kelly Alcock, who serves as the center's client program coordinator.
"They don't need a whole lot of training to do this. We pick horses that are patient and gentle by nature, and then encourage them to be rewarded for positive behavior, and then we can bring them out in the community."
The center will be visiting schools in Kent and Ionia counties so students can read to horses. The center, located at 3777 Rector Avenue in Rockford, also have time slots available for kids to read to horses on Saturday, March 25. If you'd like to sign up, contact Alcock by emailing KellyAlcock@equestcenter.org.
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