To improve the mental wellness, physical ability, behavior, and cognitive skills of people living with disabilities in partnership with the horse.
Starlight is a vibrant community where horse and human interaction improves mind, body, and spirit of individuals with disabilities.
Growing up on a ranch surrounded by horses, STRC founder Chim Williams Welborn knew the powerful connection between horses and humans. This inspired her to create a nonprofit therapeutic riding center with horsemanship for people with disabilities at its core. The mission? To improve the mental wellness, physical ability, behavior, and cognitive skills of people living with disabilities in partnership with the horse.
And with that, STRC—short for Starlight Therapeutic Riding Center—was born.
In April 2019, STRC became a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service. The STRC Board of Directors hired a team of instructors to develop a small pilot program. Working hand-in-hand with other therapeutic riding centers, STRC began to better understand the needs of the students being served.
Financially secure and armed with a strategic plan, Starlight weathered the COVID-19 crisis by concentrating on flexibility to meet our community's changing needs. Thanks to the strong, visionary leadership of our Board of Directors, we were well-positioned to adapt to the adversity ahead. In the spring, we promptly transitioned to effectively working from home and shifted our focus from in-person lessons to planning innovative learning opportunities for our participants.
Starlight is now open. Participants, volunteers, and staff have been reunited with our herd of happy horses. We remain careful yet innovative as we adapt programming, fundraising, and financial plans to address the future. Starlight will continue to be a vibrant community where horse and human interactions improve lives. We recognize that persons with disabilities worldwide face distinct and complex challenges, yet we believe no matter who you are or the difficulties you face, your body, mind, and spirit can flourish in partnership with the horse.
Starlight has strategically partnered with local schools and organizations, including the Bynum School, Lazy3 Ranch, Midland Polo Club, and the Midland Girl Scouts, to help people with disabilities in our community thrive.
Chim Williams Welborn