The Leaning Post Ranch, Panhandle Youth Assitance
NARHA Premier Accredited Center
The Leaning Post Ranch (LPR) is a project of Panhandle Youth Assistance Program, Inc. (PYAPI), a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization licensed by the state of Florida as a prevention program. Fran and Newman Gersin, Executive Directors, are Certified
Addiction Associate Professionals who have been working with at-risk youths since 1972.
The dream of the LPR began in 1992 with one gang member and one horse. After several
successes, the efficacy of the horse as a therapy tool took firm root in the Gersin's minds.
Fran Gersin, familiar with horses from her youth, trained and became the first certified
Therapeutic Riding Instructor of the LPR. As a riding instructor, Fran saw the effectiveness
of equine therapy in the lives of children with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.
The outreach of the Ranch program expanded to include children with varying disabilities
and their families. PYAPI sought and received certification as a Premier Accredited Center
of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). Growth of the
program necessitated 7 moves, until 2001, when PYAP acquired a 40- acre property that
includes a small farmhouse, a 100 year-old barn and a stagecoach road that dates back to 1806.