By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)– Alexandra is a student at Bruce Randolph School in Denver but her classroom on Friday is an arena and her teacher is a horse.

“Sometimes we groom them. Like brush them or just clean their fur off,” said Alexandra.

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Alexandra is a student with special needs. She’s learning how to take care of and ride a horse as well as valuable life lessons.

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“It helps them to build confidence, teamwork, leadership, as well as learning horsemanship skills,” said Debbie Mogor, the coordinator for the Temple Grandin Equine Center.

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For over a year now, The Temple Grandin Equine Center at CSU has collaborated with Denver Public Schools, The Laradon School and other community organizations to bring therapeutic riding to Denver students with disabilities.

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This program provides physical, cognitive and emotional benefits to the students, even if at first they might be a little apprehensive to work with such a big animal.

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“It’s so fun to watch them when they first come in they are just very apprehensive and nervous because these are big animals,” said Mogor.

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Alexandra says she really enjoys working with the horses.

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Mogor says she’s seen how much the program has helped students like Alexandra, “That helps you to be able to manage things in your own life. Things that are difficult.”

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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