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Equine therapy provides needed peace and quiet

Equine Therapy ROCK CITY, Ill. — Rising Star Farm appears to be much like many others from the narrow gravel roadway. But looks can be deceiving. A special home for 10 dogs, 22 cats, cattle, chickens and 17 horses, the farm is a haven for critters — and people — in need. Owner Donna Huth-Macklin, a Beloit native and horse specialist, said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
 
“We raise Black Angus cattle and also run Gaited Journeys equine therapy out here (at the farm),” said Macklin. “My true belief is everything we have been able to do is a gift from God.”
 
Gaited Journeys, a nonprofit run by Macklin and her husband Randy, allows individuals experiencing emotional troubles to come to the farm and work with horses.
 
The Macklins help facilitate the guests’ interactions with their horses in a safe environment. What each person takes away from their visit is unique.
 
“People who work with horses can learn to gain a lot of confidence in themselves and also wisdom about life,” Macklin said.