Oil changes Wednesday benefit horse therapy program - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Oil changes Wednesday benefit horse therapy program

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Opening Gates is a horse therapy program for children with behavioral issues. Opening Gates is a horse therapy program for children with behavioral issues.

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Getting an oil change Wednesday, April 9 will help more than just your car. Proceeds will benefit the horse therapy program "Opening Gates," as therapists are looking to reach more local children trying to overcome behavior problems in school.

Ethan Vaughn, 9, is a different third-grader since walking onto Hunters Brook Farm just 10 weeks ago. Before, one minute he was up, the next minute, down.

"His emotions, his anger it just kind of came out of the blue," described Ethan's mom, Kerri Vaughn.

Clinically, he's been diagnosed with ADHD -- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

"I was kind of shy and nervous and I didn't know people," explained the third grader.

Shara Wiesenauer founded Opening Gates.

"Any reason you would go to traditional talk therapy you can do that here at Opening Gates," she said.

Only here, instead of just talking it out, children are paired with horses. 

Bear is a 27-year-old stubborn horse who had been severely abused before coming here.

"If you're hyper, if you move quickly, if you don't interact with him in a calming peaceful manner he will simply walk away," said Wiesenauer.

Ethan's therapist uses Bear as an example of how to deal with real world problems.

"Now he's able to stop himself…and say the horses they would run away if I act angry or mad let me just calm down for a second," Ethan's mom explained.

Ethan and Bear will be at the Valvoline on Allison Lane in Jeffersonville Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon. $10 from every oil change here and at 4 other locations will be donated to "Opening Gates."

"The biggest change that we see across the board regardless of the reason they are here is they're more confident in themselves, they're much more relaxed and often times they're able to adjust to change," said Wiesenauer.

Important life skills, learned inside a barn.

The Donation Derby" Fundraiser for Opening Gates horse therapy group will be held at five new Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations offering $24.99 conventional oil changes (regularly $39.99) with $10 from each oil change going to Opening Gates horse therapy group. The five new locations are:

  • 2514 Allison Lane, Jeffersonville, Ind.
  • 154 Franks Drive, Madison, Ind.
  • 1220 Old Ekron Road, Brandenburg, Ky.
  • 3721 Charlestown Road, New Albany, Ind.
  • 1861 Gardner Lane NW, Corydon, Ind.

The first 20 people to get an oil change at each of the five new Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations will receive a free Kentucky Derby Pegasus Pin, which features an image of Louisville's skyline in a changing kaleidoscope of colors, depending on the angle at which it is viewed. The 42nd edition of the pin provides admission to numerous festival events, including the Chow Wagon at Waterfront Park.

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