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Ligonier Therapeutic Center

Our Story

by Cat Markosky, Founder of STAT® Inc. and Owner/Operator of the Ligonier Therapeutic Center

24 Stom Road, Ligonier, PA 15658

My son Mason was born 14 weeks premature. This caused brain injury and irreparable damage to his airway, resulting in Cerebral Palsy and tracheostomy and gastrostomy dependence. Mason wasn’t supposed to live; today, he is 17 :)  

Mason was on life support in our living room until the age of 2 where I very carefully weaned him from his ventilator. He was extremely delayed in all physical and mental capacities. I felt deeply that the one thing Mason really needed was to experience fun and joy in life, a life that was destined to be cut short. He (We) had far too many hours logged into going to doctors and enduring surgical procedures!

By age 3, No matter what we tried, Mason was still unable to sit up or bend at his waist. It was then that I discovered a unique alternative physical therapy treatment called Hippotherapy. (Hippo is Greek for horse; no, we were not signing him up to ride hippopotamuses!)

I believed that Hippotherapy would fulfill two of my wishes for Mason: 1) to experience joy in life and 2) to find a way to motivate him to tolerate therapy... 

I found that Hippotherapy is the MOST AMAZING AND EFFECTIVE therapy I had ever witnessed. 

As difficult as the first 10 sessions, Mason thoroughly enjoyed his next 14, learning that riding was meant to be FUN! and upon returning home after that 24th session, I placed Mason on the floor of our living room where he SAT UP INDEPENDENTLY!  

There is NO OTHER therapy that could have produced this outcome for my son. It was a miracle!

By age 5 Mason was walking with the assist of a walker and at the end of his 7th year, he took his first independent steps. TRULY REMARKABLE!

Mason is my hero. He is the hero for many who have come to know him here at the Ligonier Therapeutic Center.  I mean, who knew an old horse named Rusty would become Mason’s most effectual therapist?!

It's hard to be a good parent. But parents raising children with special medical needs or raising a child with severe behavioral needs such as Autism - we are on constant alert, truly 24/7.  The Ligonier Therapteutic Center was built to offer families a peaceful place, a non-judgmental atmosphere, a low stress, healing environment. 

 -- STAT is my passion… and I believe it is Mason’s purpose in life.

Specialties
EAGALA

Equine-Assisted PsychoTherapy & Counseling

Equine-Assisted Learning

Marital/Couples Sessions

HIPPOTHERAPY

Equine-Assisted Communication (Speech Therapy)

Equine-Assisted Physical & Occupational Therapy

EDUCATION

Equine Experiential Education

Workshops & Seminars

Research

CORPORATE TEAM BUILDING

Group Team Building

Focus Groups

Workforce & Vocational Training

DAY CAMPS & RETREATS

Outdoor Education & Nature Programs

Restorative Retreats

Equine Camping