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Horse therapy nonprofit moves to Gloucester

Nancie Roahrig has moved Step Up into T.L.C. (Therapeutic Loving Caballos) Inc. from Arizona to Gloucester. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit focuses on “traveling the miles to bring smiles” in the form of horse therapy.

Step Up began as a carriage company in 1997 with a Clydesdale named “Lenny.” The company became a nonprofit in 2006 when Roahrig decided to focus on pet therapy after taking Lenny to visit a friend’s daughter in the hospital with cancer. Now she travels with her horses to bring therapy to people in nursing homes, hospitals and hospice facilities.

“They’re so therapeutic,” said Roahrig.

Step Up currently has three horses who travel for therapy. “Jumping Jack” (also known as “JJ”) is a 2,000-pound Clydesdale, “Dillon” is a pony who is able to give rides, and “Buddy” is a miniature horse that wears Build-A-Bear Workshop shoes when he is indoors to keep carpets clean and stay steady on tiled floors.

“It’s incredible the work that they do,” she said.

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