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New equine therapy organization already touching lives in Belmont County

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A new equine therapy organization in Belmont County is already touching lives.

Jeannine Shaw, who has been in the horse business her whole life, recently opened Shaw Farms Equine and Therapeutic Center to help local children and those with disabilities.

“We have this beautiful barn here. We work on it every day. This is what I do. And I wanted to do something meaningful for the kids and the community,” Shaw said.

The organization is striving to become a 501-c3 nonprofit.

"We've gone through the state, which we're approved,” Shaw said. “It's a process. So we're getting there. And that way you can have funding to help you with children that can't pay for the lessons or to make improvements, just to help your business. We don't want anyone to ever leave that can't pay for a riding lesson for a child or an adult with a disability."

For these children at the School of Hope in St. Clairsville, the opportunity is a dream come true.

"When the kids are in the classroom, they're a whole different kid than when they're there," said Katie Fischerkeller, intervention specialist, School of Hope.

Fischerkeller says the students are benefiting from their new neighbor.

"We have seen benefits with these horses for a long time, and I couldn't be more happy that Jeannine got involved, so now we're close, and we can come more than once a week,” Fischerkeller said.

“You see smiles on all their faces right now, so it's all worth it."

“I've always loved teaching kids, but this on a bigger level because we have children that this is their highlight of the week,” Shaw said. “It's the best thing I ever did.”

Shaw Farms Equine and Therapeutic Center is accepting individuals with disabilities from anywhere in the Ohio Valley.

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