Horse therapy group building corral shelter for veterans, Dec. 2 survivors, first responders

A Redlands nonprofit group that offers horse therapy is building a $2,500 tack room with a sheltering porch to be used by military veterans, Dec. 2 survivors, first responders and others with post-traumatic stress injuries, thanks to a mother’s loving donation and a Vietnam vet ranch owner’s building skills.
Arrowhead United Way in San Bernardino also committed at least $10,000 for survivors of the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino to receive equine therapy at Equus Medendi or “horse healing.”
The nonprofit group’s staff and volunteers are finishing a small wooden tack room with a porch next to the corral where short-term, one-on-one therapy sessions take place with a horse, horse expert, and counselor at Buffalo Meadows Ranch in Redlands.
“We are so excited. We’re getting there,” said the group’s founder, Angie Sheer.
Riverside resident Leslie Dellaro donated $2,000 in memory of her horse-loving daughter, 30-year-old Liz Dellaro, who died in February.
After fundraising brought in half of the group’s $5,000 goal, Buffalo Meadows Ranch owner Bill Merrill offered to build the shelter with friends’ help and cut the cost in half.
Sheer’s friend, Barbara Betterley, who works at McElroy Metal in Adelanto, and husband, Jack, donated the metal roof on behalf of his father, Bill, and the William A. Betterley Western Heritage Foundation.
The tack room and porch, which will be painted barn red with white trim, will give trauma survivors a place to escape the heat, sun, and rain. The interior must be insulated and deck boards finished. They hope to put up a solar panel.
Shortly after a June 24 fundraiser collected $1,000 for a veterans program, Arrowhead United Way President Doug Rowand committed $10,000 to provide horse therapy for Dec. 2 survivors.
Four are currently doing sessions. The money will fund sessions for even more and Rowand said he would find more funds if needed, Sheer said.
“We’re trying to get the word out to other survivors,” she added.
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