Girls Horse Club Blog

Spirit Therapies

Published by • Mar 11th, 2008 • Category: Junior Blogger Archives, Lend a Hand

by Halee, age 12

The disabled: we all know them. They are often called stupid; they are made fun of for being different. Not so at my stable, Spirit Therapies. SPIRIT is a non-profit program that helps the emotionally, physically, or mentally disabled reach their potential and realise that they are more than just another statistic as a victim of mental retardation, multiple sclerosis, or bipolar disorder. Here is a bit more about SPIRIT.

SPIRIT is a place that provides a welcoming place for the disabled. At SPIRIT, children and adults with disabilities are not made fun of like they so often are in the ‘real world’. At Spirit Therapies, trained volunteers with passion and heart assist clients with their special needs. From making sure their riding helmet fits right to how their day is going, everyone at SPIRIT tries to make our client’s day and life more enjoyable, fun and, above all, safe.

And how does a place do all this? Well, SPIRIT is a therapeutic riding stable where the riders get to connect with the volunteers and their mounts. All our horses are gentle and sound; all are friendly and accustomed to meeting new people. The horses are four-legged therapists for the kids and adults alike. The kids (this term used to refer to our students of all ages) get the wonderful opportunity to connect with the world through the magic of friendship as well as kinship and kindness.

As a volunteer, I have gotten to see the generous nature of the SPIRIT program for myself. With good-natured volunteers and understanding instructors, the program could be called one-of-a-kind, though many programs similar to SPIRIT are registered with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). I myself have gotten to see how much it helps the clients mentally, physically, emotionally and socially.

To all involved with SPIRIT, the kids who come and take lessons are more than just clients. As a non-profit program, we see our ‘clients’ as living people with unmatched confidence and limitless abilities to be unlocked. Through donations and support by charities, schools, and even regular people, we are able to stride toward one of our goals of making all lessons free of charge. And because of donations, we are able to make sure parents can continue giving great feedback like this:

“SPIRIT has provided a fun atmosphere for my son, Brett [age 4]. He loves to put his boots on and ride ‘Cowboy’. I have been amazed at the progress of his trunk rotation and overall mobility in his legs and shoulders. He has been going to physical and occupational therapy all his life, yet we have finally found one that works wonders and one that Brett loves!” –Jennifer

If you would like to learn more about this program, or want to get involved, please visit SpiritTherapies.org.

To find a program in your area, visit NARHA.org.

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  1. great thing to make a blog about Halee! wonderful job!

  2. It’s great to see you’re helping out for disabled riders Halee. No one likes to be treated badly, and horses are the best cure for anything! Well done on this blog and keep writing!

  3. My mom is a Physical therapist and she works with kids with disabilities! I love helping with them!