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Helping Children and ‘Horsing Around’ Honored by Dyer Difference Award

            There is something very special about being close to a horse that helps to bring out the best in individuals who face developmental and emotional obstacles. Equine therapy has been shown to improve social and emotional awareness, develop independence improve impulse control and distress tolerance, and assist in coping with learning challenges like autism, Asperger’s, Down’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADD/ADHD), depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and even dementia. Since 1992, Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast, Inc., has provided opportunities for therapeutic horseback riding and horsemanship instruction to individuals in both Indian River and St, Lucie Counties struggling with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. The group also works with Dodgertown Elementary School to help teach all children the importance of animal husbandry. Volunteers with the Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast also share the therapeutic equine experience with women cancer survivors and helps train equestrian athletes for the county, regional, and state Special Olympics competitions. This month, the St. Lucie County Dyer Difference Award Committee has chosen to recognize and celebrate the dedication of Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast volunteers (and the horses) who share so much of themselves with the community.

The Dyer Difference Award is all about celebrating the beauty and kindness in our midst. For the Dyer family and the members of the Dyer staff, the award and the $6,000 in donations made monthly between the St. Lucie and Indian River Counties are all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it’s an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you’d like to nominate a non-profit organization for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit or find Dyer Difference on Facebook.

Photo Courtesy of Ilena Luts: Jonathan Holmes, Will & Tatiana Dyer, Karen Johnson, Jimmy Johnson, Angela Moabed

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