Stories

Testimonials from our clients, parents and volunteers.


Angie and horse Abby

My name is Angie and I have been in the Stable Hands program since 1992 when I was 4 years old. Now I am almost 21. When I started I could hardly sit up on my own, I needed my side walkers to help support me. After a few weeks of riding I was able to sit up well on my own and my balance improved, it was great! Every week I was able to accomplish something new, I am so proud of myself and I wanted to show people what I could do.

I have met so many people that have touched my life in a special way. Your horse becomes one of your best friends. Now I ride a horse named Abby and I even have my own custom made saddle with a name plate on the back of it. I take independent riding lessons and I have so much fun. It is so cool knowing that I can control a huge animal by myself. It has given me so much self confidence. I am now taking online classes to become a dog obedience trainer and one day I hope to train service dogs and companion helper dogs. I would also like to be a pet photographer. I will continue riding horses as long as I am able to, hopefully for a very long time. – Angie


Since Sam became involved in the Stable Hands program in 2004 we have seen him make some enormous strides. It has helped him in numerous physical ways including improving his trunk strength and ability to sit for more extended periods of time. It has helped relax his pelvis & hamstring muscles on his affected side without the use of medications and has delayed and perhaps prevented him having to have surgery on his left leg.

Both of these physical improvements have helped him to gain independent mobility, something which had eluded him in spite of aggressive physical therapy. In addition to the physical benefits that we have seen, we have seen him make great cognitive and social gains as well. Prior to becoming involved in the program Sam had minimal social skills. He would only make limited eye contact, did not have meaningful communication skills and could not follow directions. He now will make eye contact, communicate with the volunteers through sign and prompted speech and can follow directions to participate in the therapy activities. He looks forward to the weeks when he can go and ride the horses and we have to hide his helmet on those days until we are ready to leave the house!

The program has also given him a level of normalcy or equality with his triplet siblings who are able to be involved in traditional sports. We could not be happier to be involved in this program and appreciate the efforts made by all of the volunteers and supporting organizations. – Nicky