Russellville equine therapy visits library program

“Adventure begins at your public library- and that’s what we’re trying to teach kids,” explained Amanda Arrington, librarian at Helen Keller Public Library in Tuscumbia. She, along with other library staff have spent the summer transforming their space into “Camp Reads More.” The camp’s goal is to bring in local children and stimulate interest in the library, reading and learning about the community and the adventure opportunities at their fingertips. Every Friday, the library welcomes anywhere from 20-50 kids to observe the presentation planned for that week.

The June 7 program brought in Serenity Saviors, a non-profit equine therapy and rescue center operated out of Russellville, Alabama. “We were so happy to get to bring animals to the library,” Arrington explained. “Kids love animals, and we love to see them make healthy connections with the resources around our community.”

The founders of Serenity Saviors, Allen and Cherina Borncheuer, developed a love for horse rescue and a love for each other over the years. “We met in 2011 when I took my now 20-year-old son horseback riding,” she explained. “Mr. Allen made me sign a release form to ride as well just in case, and I ended up riding more than my son, Blake. I spent my free time there while working on my master’s in psychology. Allen and I hit it off, and realized we could be a great team. It really turned out awesome,” she added.

They set out on a search for a lesson horse, and they found out there was a rescue of American Saddlebreds about an hour from Allen’s farm. Upon arrival, they learned that not only did they slaughter horses at the farm they were visiting, but they sent horses overseas to be slaughtered as well. After the pair realized they could combine their specialties and turn it into an outreach, they quickly took action and began to rescue horses the following year in 2012, and the rest is history.

“Our mission started off as a horse rescue, but we soon realized these remarkable animals had something to offer to us as well,” Cherina Borncheuer said. “We started doing equine assisted therapy with people with various struggles. Horses seemed to connect with kids in a special way, but they seemed to be able to help anyone that came riding. We saw people with ADHD, anxiety, behavioral issues and particularly autism, and other people on the spectrum.”

For the Borncheuer’s, 2016 was a big year. They officially started the nonprofit and gave themselves a name, and she took Allen’s last name in 2016 as well. They recently welcomed a new member of the family, baby Aubrey Bornscheuer.

“We hope to do more community outreach in the future,” she continued. “We love to see other people love these horses and appreciate what they have to offer us just like we do. It’s days like today that you can really see your hard work pay off and feel like you’re making a difference, however small it may be,” Bornscheuer explained.

Kids from all over stood in line to meet the horses. Some even dressed up in costumes ahead of attending the event. The couple assisted the kids up close, face to face with the horses, answered questions and told rescue stories to all who would listen. Children took interest in brushing the horses and filing their hooves.

“We’re always looking for more events to be a part of, so if you know anyone needing some entertainment, education, and even therapy, send them our way,” she added. “Don’t hesitate to call us. We don’t get to share them enough.”

For more information about Serenity Saviors Equine Rescue & Therapy Center, call 256-902-8389, email serenitysaviors@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SerenitySaviors.

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