My name is Maddie, and I’ve been riding at Healing Reins since I was 5. I have a mild case of Cerebral Palsy, which affects my muscles and my gait when I walk. Now, I’m almost 23 and I’m also a volunteer. On top of that, I’m training to become a Therapeutic Riding instructor.
When I’m at Healing Reins throughout the week, I have the opportunity to work with a Smokey Buckskin miniature horse named Elvis. I groom him and lead him and just give him some love. Working with Elvis has helped boost my confidence around horses and has made me realize what I’m capable of doing. But the main thing Elvis has taught me is that you can be small, but still make a great BIG impact on people!
Maddie E., Rider and Volunteer
I’m an occupational therapist at Treehouse Therapies, which partners with Healing Reins. I recently met a very sweet 4-year old boy who has many fears, sensitivities, and physical challenges, but who loves to play and have fun. Right away I thought, I’d love to get him on a horse, because it would give him courage, confidence, strength, and calm. I also knew it would be a long time before he’d agree to ride a horse, so I was going to put the idea in the back of my mind. Then I remembered that we have sweet Elvis the pony available to work with kiddos. For several weeks, this little boy has enjoyed visiting Elvis, and his comfort in the barn and around Elvis has grown each time.
He managed to pet Elvis directly on the fur for the first time recently, and when he got a new stuffed horse from a museum, he named him Elvis! He even brought little Elvis to show to big Elvis. I’m so thankful that Elvis is available to work with this kiddo, and I have lots of hope that we’ll eventually get him riding!
Onalee Roe, Occupational Therapist, MOTR/L