Month: June 2019

Come Run With Us! 2nd Annual “Running the Edge” 5K Trail Run/Walk — Sept. 14, 2019

Less than three months out — “Running the Edge” at Nature’s Edge on September 14

If you love the exhilaration and challenge of running through field and woods and up and down hills on a crisp Fall morning, this 5K race is for you!  But it’s more than just that . . .

If you love a professionally timed race where you’re running for place or if you love a run/walk where you choose your pace and just enjoy being out in nature, this event is for you! But it’s still more than that . . .

If you love giving a helping hand to others who have very real needs, this 5k run is especially for you!

Calling all runners, walkers and teams of all ages!

Please register for the “Running the Edge” 5K Trail Run/Walk which takes off on Saturday morning, September 14, at 9 a.m.! Here’s the link to the online event registration site:

A 1/2 Mile Kids Fun Run for runners 12 years old and younger takes places at 8:30 a.m. on the same morning.  Register here:  All participants receive a race swag bag and T-shirt, and all finishers receive a medal.

“Running the Edge” — Hosted on the Nature’s Edge 65-acre ranch

  • We host the “Running the Edge” event right at Nature’s Edge because this 5K course that runs the perimeter of the Nature’s Edge ranch is an unusual, exceptional, breathtaking (yes, those hills can take your breath away!) and exhilarating  run.
  • We also host it onsite at Nature’s Edge because it’s a race with a great purpose!  “Running the Edge” 5K Run/Walk is all about benefitting patients with disabilities who receive therapy at Nature’s Edge.  Every registration fee and all business sponsorships beyond the expenses of the race are designated to therapy scholarships for Nature’s Edge patients with financial need.  That means that patients who need therapy but can’t afford it have the financial obstacles removed through scholarships and are able to receive therapy.
  • We host “Running the Edge” at the Nature’s Edge ranch because when you’re out here to run or watch the 5K and Kids Fun Run, you also have the opportunity to see the Nature’s Edge facilities and terrain, to meet some of our staff, therapists and therapy animals, and to get a feel for the therapy work that we do.

It was Nature’s Edge staff that first dreamed up “Running the Edge.”  Several of our staff are runners who compete in area events. Recognizing the potential for a great cross-country trail run on the Nature’s Edge ranch and the possibility to grow an event that could raise funds to help patients overcome financial barriers, they did the work to plan and launch the 5K, which included carving out much of the 5K trail!  September 14th is our 2nd annual run.  We’d love to see at least 100 runners out to support this great cause!  Come on out and run with us!

All runners are encouraged to consider increasing the fund-raising reach of the 5K event by seeking pledges from friends and acquaintances for “Running the Edge.”  Pledge sheets will be mailed out to all registrants and are also available on the Nature’s Edge website.

Finish line photos will be taken and metals awarded to all finishers.  Prizes for the fastest male and female runner, as well as medals for age categories and the fastest two teams will be awarded.  The fastest boy and girl from the ½ Mile Kids Fun Run will also receive prizes.  The registration desk opens at 7 a.m. on race day and same-day registration will be available.  An awards ceremony will be held at 10:15 a.m.  The Nature’s Edge barn will be open with several therapy animals and horses in stalls, a DJ will be onsite, and Surge healthy shakes will be available for purchase.

Mark September 14 on your calendar for “Running the Edge,” and let’s meet up at Nature’s Edge for a great run!


H is for Hippos?! Exploring Hippotherapy

Have you ever wondered what in the world hippos have to do therapy?! I mean, we are talking about “hippotherapy” after all, right?  While the term makes it sound as though hippos are receiving therapy, the word could not mean anything further from it.  Hippotherapy does not involving hippos, nor does it involve counseling services.

Hippotherapy derives from the Latin word “hippo”, which means horse.  Wait…what?  So you mean hippotherapy is actually “horse therapy”, like riding horses?  The truth is hippotherapy is vastly different than just riding a horse or adaptive riding!  Hippotherapy is a very effective, medically skilled treatment strategy that can only be utilized by trained speech, occupational, and physical therapies for a patient’s plan of care.  Patients that experience hippotherapy strategies during therapy sessions do not need to have any prior experience riding a horse!  In fact, the more novel the experience is to the patient, the better the results can be.

So what is it about this experience with the horse that makes this treatment strategy so unique and powerful?  The horse, an incredibly powerful animal, is specially trained and schooled by horse handlers to generate purposeful movement.  Under the direction of the trained therapist, the horse handler directs the horse to manipulate their movement, addressing problems experienced by the patient and assisting in generating long-term functional outcomes.

But how?  The horse has a similarly structured pelvis as an adult human (just positioned differently), replicating the movement that a person would normally experience while walking without requiring the person to complete any standing or walking.

The horse’s movement simulates the movements a person needs to walk, but the horse is able to provide these movement impulses to a person astride a horse at a higher interval rate while remaining rhythmic, repetitive, symmetrical, and predictable, allowing up to ~3000 steps within 30 minutes (much more movement than walking exercises or therapy balls).  By manipulating the horse’s movements, a therapist can address multiple treatment area concerns for a patient related to both the human and environmental systems.  In short, hippotherapy is used as a treatment strategy to influence how a patient experiences his/her surrounding environment and to    improve/organize the patient’s own human systems, including motor, musculoskeletal, nervous, limbic, respiratory, circulatory, and sensory systems.

Such an amazing and powerful animal cannot be caught doing any horse play; this job is serious work!  Check out pictures of  Valebu (a Norwegian Fjord) and Svali (an Icelandic) hard at work helping our therapy friends below!


For more questions on who may benefit from using hippotherapy, please follow our link: