Open Arms Therapy (OAT) - Dalhart (TX) equine therapy for the disabled

Hank

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In 2012 Roberta made a difficult decision and she offered Hank to Colleen Randall of Gaitquest Therapeutic Riding in Dumas, TX.  Hank was no longer being used in the program due to the change of riding location and the drop in program numbers and being a young gelding he needed a job.  Colleen Randall decided to purchase Hank for her program and therefore Hank will continue to serve in a neighboring community.  Goodbye Hank!  OAT loves you!

Keep in touch with Hank @ http://gaitquest.com/

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Roberta riding Hank

Early in 2009 the black and white Paint gelding known as "Hank" was welcomed into the OAT family.  OAT Director, Roberta Hollers, acquired Hank from Nonie Reed of Hico, TX.  There is a little story that goes along with this acquisition.  Several months earlier, Nonie and a friend were traveling through Dalhart while returning from a trip to Colorado to pick up a horse.  About 9 miles north of Dalhart the two horse trailer she was pulling began to experience serious problems.  They pulled over and walked to the nearest house to ask if there might be a place to stable the horse overnight until repairs could be made or an alternate source of transportation could be found.  It was suggested she call Kristen Hembree.  Over the course of the next 2 days; Kristen took care of the horse and found transportation to get the horse to the Ft. Worth area.  Nonie was so thankful she promised to do something in return. 
It wasn't much later when OAT was officially established and underway.  Nonie and Kristen remained in contact and when the web page was built and ready for public viewing Kristen sent Nonie the link.  Nonie replied and offered Hank to the program for a minimal price; considerably less than what she could have made selling him on the market.   She felt like Hank would be perfect for the program.  
1Nonie started showing horses at a very young age.  She showed in 4-H and American Quarter Horse Shows as a youth.  She was World Champion Youth Honor Roll Barrel Racer in AQHA for three different years.  She won many championships as a youth in showmanship, western pleasure, trail, reining, cutting, barrels and poles. Nonie Graduated from New Mexico State University with her Bachelor of Agriculture Economics and went on to obtain her Masters of Education from Tarleton State University. In 1987 Nonie won two 1 ton Chevy trucks at the Gold and Silver Cutting Horse Event in Fort Worth, Texas.  Nonie is currently employed as the Assistant Director of Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center in Hico Texas where she continues her passion for recovery, helping others and her horses.  Nonie and her 2 daughters continue to show horses in The Stock Show Horse Association.  Nonie feels blessed to be able to share her animals as part of the recovery experiential process. Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center is dedicated to providing quality chemical dependency treatment. TRRC is a spiritual based 12 step treatment facility.  Similar to OAT; TRRC uses horses to help rehabilitate people in their program.
Roberta Hollers decided to purchase Hank personally and then to share him with the program.  Hank is a 4 year old Paint.  Nonie had been using him as a lesson horse.  She had worked with him extensively to be safe for inexperienced riders.  When Roberta and Kristen met Nonie in Lubbock to pick him up they met at the McDonalds off the interstate.  After traveling many hours in the trailer; Nonie backed Hank out of the trailer, threw on a saddle, mounted in the crowded parking lot, rode him across the side street and put him through his paces in an open grassy area between two busy roads.  He never even batted an eye.  She demonstrated how obedient he was and even pretended to fall off grabbing him around the neck and swinging off the saddle and in front of him ... Hank quickly stopped and stood quietly.  He withstood feet in his flank and uneven weight in the saddle. We knew then and there Hank was special.  Roberta rode Hank many times during the OAT riding sessions over the summer.  Roberta is not only an OAT Director; she is also a participant.  After an experience with West Nile; Roberta experienced permanent nerve damage in her leg(s).  Hank was extremely patient as her bad leg would bump him in the side uncontrollably and he remained obedient at all times.  Hank was also ridden by Roberta in the 2009 XIT Rodeo & Reunion Parade.  While lined up in the parade Hank was bumped from behind by some teenagers in a golf cart ... once again he demonstrated how easy-going and calm he could be.  He was not injured and he continued in the parade quietly.  Later in the summer Hank was used for some of the OAT children as well.  Hank has remained reliable, willing and patient.  Riding Hank has helped Roberta regain more strength and control of her leg.  She improved her physical condition and it helped her self-confidence.  Hank is now part of the family and Roberta looks forward to many years of riding and companionship.  We are so thankful Nonie broke down in our small town of Dalhart because without that experience we never would have met her or Hank!  Thanks Nonie!

1 Nonie Reed's biographical information copied with permission from the Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center website.

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Nicholas riding Hank

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Roberta riding Hank in the 2010 XIT Rodeo Parade

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