Ligonier Therapeutic Center
Using Horses To Heal
by Catherine Markosky, Mason's mom and the Founder of STAT, Inc.
After witnessing my son Mason who couldn't sit up at age 3, take his first steps at 7, I knew it was the horse that had become his most effective therapist! He wasn't happy at first, cried the first 10 times we put him on that horse... then he began to understand it was supposed to be fun! His body relaxed. After a few weeks, we were able to support him sitting up side saddle. After several more sessions his hips were able to flex so he could sit straddled; bareback, of course. This is Hippotherapy.
After approx 24 sessions, I brought him home from the stables, sat him on the living room floor... and there he sat, all by himself!
By 5 he was walking with a walker, by the end of his 7th year he was taking independent steps. We invited Clifford the Big Red Dog to the house for Mason's Walking Party and he pushed his walker away in front of 30 friends and family and my son walked from one end of our living room to the other!!
Working with people, especially children, who have physical or emotional challenges is my passion.
I founded STAT in 2007 to assist families in paying for services - a scholarship program that provided more than $400,000 in 7 years. Although STAT supported many more modalities and even started a summer camp at the LCCC for kids with Autism... without a doubt, the most effective has been equine-assisted.
We offer EAGALA and Hippotherapy. If there are other modalities you'd like is to consider please contact me.
At STAT, children and adults can receive alternative therapies through experiential as well as evidence-based techniques and principles using horses (OT, PT, Speech, Psychotherapy, and other equine-assisted learning activities). Personally, my husband and I recently purchased 126 acres, full of trails and property we will offer as an extension of the Ligonier Therapeutic Center for family therapy, walk-talk therapy, trail rides, restorative retreats, even snow tubing and sleigh rides!
Kaleb is non-verbal, but with a dedicated therapy team, we discovered he knew his numbers, despite what the school testing reported...
At 9 years old, he was non-verbal. Doctors told his parents that he would never speak. Read his mother's testimonial about Johnny's first spoken words!
our story - MASON MARKOSKY
Mike & Cat Markosky
Mason presented with the 2016-2017 Stanley Cup
at Penguins Foundation