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October 16, 2012

Bit by Bit founder addresses Rotarians

CLAREMORE — Claremore Rotarians learned Tuesday about the Bit by Bit Therapeutic Horseback Ridging Center. 

If not straight from the literal horse’s mouth, then from the next best thing — the center’s founder and director Linda Barron.
“I came across a quote the other day which made me smile, because I’ve been so fortunate to experience this in my own life,” Barron said. “The quote says ‘It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together’ and I’ve been very, very fortunate to be in that position, especially with Bit by Bit.
“I come from an equine background and have always had a heart for individuals with special needs,” she continued. “While I was getting my education and training, there were less requirements — no IEP’s, no special classes — if you were having trouble, you went down to the Special Ed room for a while and if things clicked, you would go back to regular classes, there wasn’t the formality that exists (in special education) today, but I’ve been fortunate to find myself very fortunate to be in a field which helps persons with special needs — my passion. 
“I started the Bit by Bit program and many of you probably already know this, in 1997, here on RSU campus with myself, one horse, four students whom I’d taught at Oologah schools and one broken down tractor,” she said. “It was an idea that I’d gotten as a way to motivate and encourage individuals using horses as therapy. This was really before animal therapies were as prevalent as they are today, and using horses (as therapy) is really an older practice. It’s been interesting and fun for me to watch how animals, not just horses, have been used in improving the quality of people’s lives and the lives of their families, and Bit by Bit has done that.”

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