Director of riding center next up in Keystone Breakfast Series

Contact: Ashlie Harper Perry
Photo of a horse and young client at the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center.

A horse and young client at the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center

KALAMAZOO—The program director for the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center will discuss animal-assisted therapies and the array of resources offered by the center during the Keystone Community Bank Breakfast Speaker Series at Western Michigan University.

Tamara Homnick, program director and instructor at the center, will speak at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at the Haworth College of Business in 2150 Schneider Hall, delivering a presentation titled “My Therapist Weighs 1,200 Pounds: A Look at Equine-Facilitated Activities and Therapies.”

The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-6059. Free parking is available.

Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center

Opened in 1970 as the first therapeutic riding center in the U.S. serving those with special needs, the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center strives to focus on what individuals can accomplish, not on what they cannot.

For more than 40 years, the riding center has served riders of all ages who have special needs by addressing issues such as communication, accountability, responsibility and social skills through work with horses. Some of the services provided include therapeutic riding, summer camps, volunteer opportunities and hippotherapy, a treatment that uses equestrian therapy to improve posture, balance, mobility and function in patients with motor disorders.

Through the therapeutic use of horses, the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center has helped to improve the emotional and physical well-being of individuals while serving as an international training and education center for therapeutic riding programs.

Therapeutic riding and services are offered to clients on a year-round basis with programs in both fall and spring semesters and camp programs in the summer. For more information about the center, visit

2013-14 Keystone series dates and speakers

  • Feb. 28: Troy Thrash, president and CEO, Kalamazoo Air Zoo
  • March 28: President Don LeDuc, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and President John M. Dunn, Western Michigan University