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RF Play Days Featured On KRDO's Military Family Series

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (KRDO) — Nestled in a corner of the spacious 18,488-acre Air Force Academy grounds, is an unassuming hamlet where healing is the mission.

It’s where military families can come to build new memories, and re-write traumas — remount, if you will — from challenges.

This is where the Remount Foundation is headquartered.

Video

Watch the television broadcast of this story on 16FEB 2024 on KRDO-TV.

©2024 Pikes Peak Television, Inc.

Patient and unflappable, a handful of horses — and their human volunteer counterparts — stand at attention, ready to welcome the next batch of military families. Once these “play days” begin, so too, do the smiles: unbridled laughter echoes across the corral.

“We’re in our 15th year now,” beams Jeanne Springer, Remount’s Co-Founder. “We work with children, with families with a DSM diagnosis, autism, ODD, ADD, ADHD. But, also families who are challenged in some way — families with children with pediatric cancer, we have families that have been through difficult marriages, difficult divorces, death of a loved one. To be together and watch them laugh and play together: that facilitates healing in the family.”

The experience leaves 15-year-old Alex Rutledge, whose Dad served 18 years in the Air Force, speechless.

“I feel very, very happy. Horses are amazing, beautiful creatures. Horses are…” Rutledge pauses. “Magical creatures.”

The teen aspires to follow in his father’s footsteps and enlist in the Air Force.

But, in the more imminent time, he’s pursuing his driver’s permit — jokingly admitting that horses are more fun to ride than learning how to drive.

For younger sisters, Caterina and Elizabeth, hugs and pats abound for the gentle giants.

Cheers erupt as the three siblings each get their turns ringing hula hoops over orange construction cones; a feat done atop their horses.

“Hearing about this and what they do I thought, ‘We’ll give it a try, and see if that helps.’ It’s been nice to see them smile and overcome some of their hurdles that they’ve been dealing with.”

The organization also provides therapy for active-duty military and veterans, alike. All services are free, as the foundation relies upon generous donors and grants for funding.

“They become more verbal when they are here. I’m speaking specifically of kids on the autism spectrum, but other kids as well — they just kinda blossom,” says Springer. “There is nothing more heartwarming than watching someone walk from a dark place in their life, into the light.”

Currently, the Remount Foundation’s family “play days” are held twice a month at the Air Force Academy stables. Interested families or individuals can contact Jeanne Springer via the Remount website.



This article is a repost of the original story at KRDO.com. This article is ©2024 Pikes Peak Television.

 

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