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Brown Mackie students experience hippotherapy at Rosewood Ranch
loc slt rosewood-OTA
First-Year Brown Mackie College OTA students Megan Collins, left, and Ashley Overbey stand in front of a collection of horse saddles and riding equipment at the Rosewood Ranch Riding Arena on May 2. It was the final day of their four-day field clinic at the equine therapy ranch. The OTA students participated in leading the horses, side-walking, and even worked with the client-employees who groomed the horses. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Two Brown Mackie College occupational therapy assistant students spent four days last week involved with the equine therapeutic riding program at Rosewood Ranch. It’s the second consecutive year that Rosewood Ranch has welcomed first-year OTA students from the Salina college to its award-winning therapeutic ranch so that the students can complete fieldwork required for their OTA practicum.
Brown Mackie OTA students Megan Collins and Ashley Overbey attended the ranch from April 29 through May 2, which counted toward completion of a 30-hour program practicum at Brown Mackie.
The 900-acre horse ranch, located nine miles west of Great Bend, gains visitors regularly because of its award-winning therapy program. But Brown Mackie’s OTA program is the first to incorporate the visits into its college curriculum.  
Collins and Overbey both said they have a passion for horses, along with a desire to help others. Before attending the ranch, Collins conducted research on Rosewood and knew instantly that she wanted to attend the ranch over anywhere else for her fieldwork. Overbey, said she was “blown away” with all the different training venues Rosewood has to benefit clients, “so coming here was an easy choice for me.”
Collins and Overbey observed and interacted with the therapy riders all four days. They even had opportunities to work directly with the riders.
“I was very inspired when I saw a client, who had been unable to perform a command with a horse, reach his goal,” said Collins. “Just seeing his success was a good feeling. What is happening at Rosewood transcends into life successes for the clients. Being part of that is amazing.”
“Directly working with the clients has given me a deeper sense of the commitment to my area of study,” Overbey said. “Being an OTA gives individuals a chance at having fuller lives, and the Rosewood program helps individuals become more confident and ready to meet the world.”
Rosewood Ranch manager Eric Hammond said he welcomes future Brown Mackie students. “These students came in and just took to what was going on around them with ease,” he said.  “It is a great learning opportunity for them, but it’s also a learning experience for our clients, too. We look forward to having Brown Mackie students here again next year.”
Find more about Rosewood Services Inc. online,