A picture is worth a thousand words. So instead of trying to explain with words what my local therapeutic riding program does, I've decided to show you. So that when I ask you to help keep this program going, you'll know that it's not another plea for a charity that you never see or hear about again. Many of the parents who I know with special kids think of therapeutic riding as essential for their kids as the more traditional speech or physical therapy is. Here is the summarizing statement from our program:
"Therapeutic Riding works by involving the rider's body and mind to promote
increased self-esteem and confidence, as well as to improve posture, balance, hand-eye coordination and muscle tone.
Horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, so riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscular strength.
For individuals with mental or emotional challenges, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased patience, trust, and self-worth."
We have all seen images like this....
Girls and ponies... (girls and ponies are from my farm. The one in lime green in the first photo is my daughter)
Or even sometimes moms on horses....Like yours truly in the above photo...ahem moving on...
These photos, though nice, are nothing extraordinary. I mean it's great to see kids having fun, learning useful skills like bravery, responsibility, love and patience. It's even great to see frazzled older ladies getting out and letting their hair down, so to speak, but like I said, it's nothing we all haven't seen before.
But what about this?
Have you seen this?
Empty wheelchairs? While their owners are, for perhaps the first time, galloping, and flying away; master's of their own movement.
Children who don't have much to smile about usually....
...Are suddenly beaming, filled with the unspeakable joy of accomplishment and connection that comes when they are perched on on top of a warm and loving horse.
Horses have this amazing gift to lend us: strength, speed, courage, whatever it is we lack or need- motion, balance- centering. Horses are incredibly generous with these gifts, and often have a sixth sense to tell exactly what it is that we need most. As herd animals, horses have a super developed sense of observation and communication through body language. And as animals who have been partnered with humans for eons, they also know how to invite us into their herd, to make us, in our own small way, experience their power and unique outlook on the world. Horses can move through space fluidly and effortlessly, they don't waste extra energies on negative emotions, just the ones that matter most to them, which is peace. Peace within themselves and peace in those around them.
This isn't something you see everyday. It's rare. Precious. Miraculous, some would say.
Kids who can't walk, suddenly find that they can fly.
We've all seen this....
But this? This is truly amazing.
So think about it, and if you can, please sponsor me in a fund raising ride for the local therapeutic program, which if it can keep going, is where Leo will ride next year.
Click here for my fund raising page where you can securely donate however much or little you feel like. Remember every tiny bit goes along way to keep these horses and their special riders going for the winter into next year.
Please help!! No dunking in ice water required...