This is our smiley, happy and friendly 3-year old Alta. She started Hippotherapy at Healing Reins a year ago and was paired with Gunner because they are both on the little side. Alta was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome (WS) when she was 1 ½-years old. WS is a genetic condition, present at birth, that can lead to heart and kidney problems, as well as developmental and learning challenges. These often coincide with striking verbal abilities, a love for music, and highly social personalities.
We were guided toward Healing Reins as a tool to help Alta gain muscle and core strength and to build her confidence in walking, stepping up and down stairs, and jumping. Within the past year she has bonded with “her horse” Gunner, gained an immeasurable amount of core strength and confidence, and is now strong enough to be in Diaper Dare Devils, aka, baby gymnastics! Alta looks forward to her sessions with her therapist Laurie, Gunner, and all of the wonderful volunteers.
We are beyond thankful that we were guided to Hippotherapy and Healing Reins!
Cori & Clint H., Alta’s parents
My daughter, Lucy, is almost 4 1/2-years old and has been enjoying Hippotherapy with physical therapist Laurie Schick and therapy horse Gunner for almost two years. Lucy was born with a rare genetic mutation called DDX3X and her brain didn’t develop normally during pregnancy. Despite everything that‘s stacked against her, she’s a determined and hardworking little girl who loves riding at Healing Reins.
Before she started riding, we weren’t sure if she would ever walk. Two years later, she is walking with assistance—and is so close to walking on her own! We love that the therapy is outdoors with a live animal. It’s such a welcomed change of scenery from all of the clinical therapy hours we’ve spent indoors over the years.
Lucy is nonverbal and isn’t able to tell us with words that she enjoys riding Gunner, but through her happy and expressive noises we are confident that she loves time spent at Healing Reins! We’re so thankful for the progress Lucy continues to make!
Caitlin M., Lucy’s mom
Our daughter, Natalie, has been riding at Healing Reins for three years. When we started, we didn’t know what to expect in terms of physical therapy, but we were excited to introduce Natalie to the world of horses. The benefits she’s gained have blown us away! She’s grown by leaps and bounds in her ability to maintain balance while walking and running (something we didn’t know she would ever do).
The therapists who have helped us have been the utmost in professionalism—loving, caring, and knowledgeable. They’re able to achieve amazing results by making the time spent at Healing Reins both productive and tons of fun.
The horses themselves are therapeutic. Natalie has had the amazing opportunity to meet, ride, and develop a personal relationship with different horses at Healing Reins. She has a special bond with Gunner, because she’s ridden him the most and she feels comfortable on him. Gunner is wonderful with kids. He’s very gentle and has a peaceful and calm disposition. Being with horses instills a love of animals and teaches relationship-building skills.
Thank you for the opportunity to be a small part of such an amazing organization.
Michael and Nicole P., Natalie’s parents