Therapeutic Riding: Help on Horseback

At the end of 2014 I began to search for a therapeutic riding program for Mikayla & Hope.  The only one I could find was an hour away from home.  I filled out the papers, got our doctor’s referral, and sent the papers back.  We were placed on a waiting list.  Spring, summer, and fall of 2015 all passed by without the girls getting to ride a horse.  I was so disappointed.  At the beginning of the year my cousin sent me papers for a therapeutic riding program that is only 30 minutes away from home.   I filled the papers out, sent them in, and then the call came.  2016 was the year we would see it happen.  The first 2 weeks were canceled because of rain.  But last Tuesday was the exciting day that I would finally see our girls ride a horse.

I didn’t tell the girls where we were going.  I told them to get in the van and we were going to a surprise.  When we pulled up to the arena Hope yelled “horse” with great enthusiasm.  I asked “Would you like to ride a horse?”  They yelled “yes” in unison.  They were so excited.  Hope has always been fascinated by white horses.  So I wasn’t surprised when a white horse immediately caught her eye.  She quickly announced “I wanna ride the white horse!”  The workers put a safety strap on Hope and had her ready to ride.  A brown horse was in front of her waiting to be mounted.  Marti, the lady in charge,  said “Hope is going to ride the white horse.”  They walked the brown horse away and brought the white horse up.  As Hope was mounting the white horse I knew that we were in a safe place.  A place where people will listen to our girls hearts.  A place where they will be loved unconditionally and accepted exactly as they are.

Hope was all smiles when she mounted the white horse named Babe.  Mikayla’s horse was named Angel.  Both of them started out leaning forward too much and seemed unsure about this new experience.

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But they quickly relaxed and had a great time.   The girls worked hard.  They held a pin wheel and shot baskets.

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And Hope lit up like a Christmas tree when she got to ride her horse backwards.  She thought that was the greatest thing ever.

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Mikayla didn’t ride backwards but she still had a great time.

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Every Tuesday evening from now until the end of September we will be at the horse arena.  And it’s because people are willing to take time out of their lives to love kids and make them smile.

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