In the sleepy little farm town of Canutillo, Texas – just across the river from El Paso, is the 20-acre Rio Grande Valley Ranch that boards horses, steers, ponies and even goats . The ranch is also home to a some horses that are specially trained to help people with special needs. The horses are used to connect with people who have disabilities such as social disorders, confidence issues, PTSD, fetal alchohol syndrome, Downs syndrome, autism and even young abuse victims.
Noel Cass and her friend Rita Nicolini operate KNJ Therapeutic, which helps about five people a day break through the wall built by their disabilities. Cass was trained in Phoenix and is PATH certified, which stands for Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. She has been in the field for 10 years.