An amazing day!
While this wasn't "officially" therapeutic riding, I believe it belongs here. The property we rent for our horses (6 acres, right behind our house) Belongs to our neighbors down the road. They had horses there for years, their kids rode and did 4H, pony club and all. The kids have now grown up and moved away, and their last horse died last January, at 34. The husband has tragically been diagnosed with a form of rapid onset dementia, which is fatal. They were kind enough to let us rent the property, and we have done a lot of work improving the fences, stalls, etc. Yesterday they stopped by and I offered them a ride on Ali, my older, well trained mare. They were beside themselves and rushed home to get their helmets, boots, etc. while I tacked her up for them. I was a bit nervous about letting the husband ride because his coordination is going, along with his memory, but he used to be a very good rider. He did AWESOME! He even straightened his back, which has been looking more and more hunched, and he had full control of the horse. His wife was completely giddy with excitement about how well he did, and took a ton of pictures to show to his doctor. She also rode a bit and had fun too. But it was so gratifying to see him doing so well on a horse, and to see them both smiling and laughing for a change. I told them they can ride her whenever they like, and I know they will, and I know it will help him a lot, if not slowing the progress of his disease at least it will help his depression.
That's really fantastic. Good karma all the way!
What a wonderful thing you did for the man with dementia! You brightened his day with your kindness. Great job!
Wonderful. We have some elderly friends and the last time they were around my horse the wife was talking about how wonderful he horses were when she was a kid. I decided to saddle up my mare for her. I was in tears as she st in the saddle and rode.
I just love stories like this. You're right, this definitely belongs in therapeutic riding, as the transformation you saw in your neighbor is what those of us who are lucky enough to work in therapeutic riding get to see almost every day- one of the best "job perks" :)
I think it's wonderful that you've offered them use of your mare, but in true Horse Forum fashion, I probably would recommend that you are all clear (in writing if at all possible- which I know could be awkward given that this is just an arrangement among friends) on whether or not his rides have to be supervised by you or he always needs to be accompanied by his wife, etc. His condition could make working around the horse alone dangerous, and I would just hate to see your very kind gesture end in any kind of heartache for you or the neighbors.
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