Billie Rudminat became an occupational therapist to help people fulfill their potential, a mission she pursues in a dual role at Equi-Librium Therapy Center.
Rudminat began working in 2008 at Equi-Librium in Rogersville, formerly known as Therapeutic Riding of the Ozarks. Now, she is director of development and lead therapist at ETC, which serves children and adults with disabilities through accredited equine-assisted therapy services to strengthen muscles, body awareness, coordination, communication and self-confidence.
Rudminat helped start ETC’s hippotherapy program in which therapists utilize a horse to help improve a person’s neuromotor function and continually adjust the animal’s movements based on that person’s response. She has served on ETC’s advisory committee, as a board member, secretary of the board and now the director of development responsible for marketing, fundraising, supervision of therapists and coordination of the hippotherapy program.
“I have also had the opportunity to pay it forward to the future generation of therapists while working with both the Missouri State University physical therapy and communication sciences and disorders departments as students … volunteer within our organization as a requirement to their educational curriculum,” Rudminat says. “It is very rewarding to introduce these future therapists to a unique and beneficial treatment strategy.”
She appreciates the opportunity to showcase some of the many people – volunteers and riders – who are part of ETC. For instance, Rudminat submitted pictures of two riders to a national photo contest sponsored by the American Hippotherapy Association. They won second and fourth place and are featured in the association’s publication.
She also relishes the feedback she receives, such as a letter from a client’s mother thanking Rudminat for her passion, patience and dedication.
“I keep this letter pinned to my desk so that I can be reminded that small, repeated steps may not feel earthshaking, but when looking at the bigger picture, those small steps lead to success that is immeasurable,” Rudminat says.
In November 2012, she took one of those small steps when she began a Facebook campaign to bring The Color Run to Springfield with ETC as its local charity partner. The worldwide, 5K event begins with runners of all levels in white T-shirts, who are doused along the untimed route with different colored chalky powders. In the end, the runners end up rainbow colored. More than 10,000 people participated in last year’s inaugural Springfield event, garnering about $10,000 for ETC.
“I was very excited to be part of bringing Equi-Librium Therapy Center into the spotlight and on a national stage, but it also made me proud to be a Springfieldian,” says Rudminat, who was the event’s local coordinator.[[In-content Ad]]