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ARIZONA HEART AND SOL: Therapeutic Riding of Tucson volunteer making a difference

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 7:19 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - At Therapeutic Riding of Tucson, the mission is to make a difference in the lives of children, adults and veterans living with disabilities.

Mike Andreen has been a volunteer at TROT for about a year and helps four days a week.

“Mostly I’ve been doing the side walker position,” Andreen said.

With three volunteers, like Andreen, to a rider, disabilities become capabilities.

Andreen, a Marine veteran, has made a big impact on the riders and staff alike -- and even himself.

“What I get out of here is just indescribable, or I’d be better at describing it maybe,” he said.

“Mike is just someone who really wants to help,” said Laura Bissing, volunteer coordinator at TROT. “A quiet, gentle soul, with a great one-liner here and there.”

There’s therapy for everyone here — riders with cerebral palsy can gain strength to stand, and a veteran can smile ear to ear, even if wearing a mask.

And inspiration can come from the youngest of us. A way to look at life and conquer it.

“These are really large horses and really tiny children, and they get up on there, and it’s brave,” Andreen said. “It’s like the happiest I’ve ever seen anyone, and it’s a good thing to be a part of.”

Mike has recently started the horse handler program to eventually lead the horses for the riders. If you know someone going above and beyond in the community, please nominate them here.

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