Inside the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center, horses are treated like family.
Perhaps the only thing more important to the center are the patients they treat. The center's executive director, Michele Bruhn, said that includes people on the autism spectrum, patients with ADHD or working through depression and anxiety. Sometimes the patients the center works with have limited mobility which isn't always easy.
"It can include up to four -- maybe five -- volunteers helping to lift one single person out of a wheelchair and put them on a horse," Bruhn said.
This can be unsafe for the rider and can shorten the longevity of the horse, Bruhn said. Because of this, the center's had to turn away a few people in the past.
"It's not easy because you know therapeutic riding can help someone," she said.
However, with a donor's help that may never be the case again. The lift was donated by Lib Matsch, a longtime volunteer who passed away in October.
"Literally, probably any part of CTRC she's had some influence on," Bruhn said.
With this donation, Lib is still giving the center a big hand. The center has had one patient for ten years who will benefit greatly from the lift, according to Bruhn. It won't only help him. Bruhn said there's a "huge amount" of people that they'd had to turn away in the past that they will now welcome thanks to this lift.