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riccil0ve 12-08-2009 08:19 PM

Therapeutic Horseback Riding.
This place is in my area, I know the instructor who started the therapeutic program. I volunteered at a therapy barn for about 7 or 8 years, I started when I was like, 11, and I was there until 17 or 18. It was the most incredible time of my life. Sadly, the program I worked with closed down because of financial reasons, but I wanted to share this video with you. If you've never had the opportunity to give your time to something like this, I think now is the time to start. Try to find an hour and a half once a week, and sign up. This kind of program is one that will show you true miracles. I admit, I started there for the horses, and I was more into the horse-side of things than the riders, but it was truly rewarding. In my time at my old barn, I watched a young girl start riding in a wheelchair, with very limited ability to use her legs. Towards the end of my time there, she was walking with a cane. It's enough to bring tears to your eyes. So please, just watch, and share any therapy stories or videos you have!

StormyBlues 12-08-2009 09:20 PM

We bought our farm to start a hippotherepy center. Since the downfall in the econemy, we havn't been able to chase those dreams, but I agree, it's amazing what it does

Sunny06 12-08-2009 09:23 PM

I helped with one for a while. It's so cool to see how well the kids interact and react to/with the horse!

Kashmere 12-08-2009 09:58 PM

It's a noble deed!
It does so much more than some people like to think!

gypsygirl 12-08-2009 10:26 PM

therapeutic horseback riding is amazing ! i used to volunteer at one before i moved. the kids were all great & it was awesome to see how much they learned & grew with help from the horses !

i remember helping on autistic boy who wasnt very successful making friends, riding a pony. the pony didnt do what he wanted & he gave her a big hug around the neck & said 'star i thought you were my friend !' it was so cute, bc the pony just turned her head around to his foot & then turned like he wanted her to. i dont think i will ever forget the look on that boys face.

RadHenry09 12-08-2009 10:31 PM

I also volunteered for a riding therapy program when I was a teenager. A woman who lived close to my house who was a good friend of my Mom ran one. I helped her out and loved it. She still runs the program and is very active with the Special Olympics Equestrian events as well.
I believe that this is a wonderful program !
Our Paint actually was a therapy horse for awhile before he came to live with us. I loved seeing the pics of him with all the special people that he helped while he was at the therapy center : )

My daughter also has a friend who has Down Syndrome and she rides in Therapeutic classes in our local 4H club. We love watching her ride her horse , she competed in Pa 4H State Show and did very well and was so excited. The look on her face said it all!

Thanks for posting the video! : )

Cheshire 12-08-2009 11:50 PM

I volunteered as a horse handler at a therapy centre for quite a while. One kid I will always remember, whom I knew slightly before he came to the centre...I think he may have had autism or something of the sort, but his parents and anyone else for that matter could not connect with him at all. He was so withdrawn into himself he was in a nearly catatonic state. After a year and a half of having regular sessions with us, he began opening up. When he was on a horse, it was like he was a totally different person. He would follow instructions, talk a little, even smile! A kid who'd normally do very little and have zero interest in just about anything in life grew into someone who would spend all day grooming his horse if he could. It was amazing. And the sessions carried over into his home life...last time I spoke with his mother she was almost in tears about the huge positive change in her son's behaviour.

Yeah, I was doing it for the horses. But there were a few other similar stories and looking back, I wouldn't have given up that time for anything. Anyone who has the time to do so should definitely look into volunteering.

Equuestriaan 12-09-2009 06:41 AM

My friend volunteers at a place like that. =D

Trails 12-09-2009 02:34 PM

the wife and I are NARHA instructors, love my kiddos!

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