The following testimonials have been shared with permissions granted by those wanting to share their experiences with horses. To see what it is like to work with horses, please visit our photo gallery See The Healing.
“Before equine therapy, my daughter was unable to focus and did not take responsibility for her actions. During the season of her weekly Equine Assisted Sessions I had the chance to see her start taking responsibility for actions and focus more in school and home. After about 5 months she does not need as many reminders to stay on task and get the job done.”
Facilitator’s note: Wonderful mother and daughter team, working on positive outcomes and sharing every little bit of progress. The six year old client became more able to verbalize her needs and tell stories. She became more aware of needs of others and how to use resources. Mom is better at encouraging problem solving and positive reinforcement.
“Riding Fax helped me get over my fears. I love that I helped Fax get better with her foot. One of her feet was very sore. I helped her by saying it’s okay. I know you don’t mean to stumble, just pick and go again. Belle helped me to connect with my Native American side. She is an Appaloosa horse. They always let me feed them afterwards. I like to feed them oats and apples. I like riding the obstacle course with Fax. She does a figure eight. She listens to my commands. She is not a stubborn as Cow Boy. I love Fax and Belle.”
– L., 17, Caribou
“You are awesome! Cow Boy is fun to ride. It’s funny when Cow Boy pops when you’re riding him. When I was young I almost fell off Cow Boy. I have been riding since I was six. I am now 16. I like Tino and Cow Boy. When I ride he tends not to stumble. He can be stubborn. I like to sing Home on the Range when I ride him. I like to trot with Cow Boy.
I LOVE YOU COW BOY”
– RJ, 16, Caribou
“I was told about a woman who works with horses and clients with PTSD, and I should take my son over. I thought it would be a nice experience for him to be around horses so I’d give it a try. What I found, especially when I brought his therapist with us, was a level of progress we never thought possible with him. After only one summer he was able to have a normal experience in school. Something we thought would take years. Its an excellent tool for sufferers of PTSD.
I am amazed at the level of skill that I have experienced here. I am making this part of our weekly routine due to the benefits my special needs child is receiving from this kind of therapy. Thank you again for allowing us this opportunity and doing what you do.”
– Parent of PTSD child
“My daughter’s (Autistic 4 y/o) speech therapist wants to know where she’s learning the new laungage skills and her occupational therapist is amazed at her focus.”
Facilitator: Fringe benefit? We work with the child, older sister and mom together.
“We’ve been coming to Manes and Tails North at Perfect Ponies for almost 6 years. My children all have different abilities and that’s how our experience has always been approached. Three of my boys are all living in various shades of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). My youngest has no diagnoses. Language may be difficult for one, but communication is something we can all work on. Responsibility and life skills are something probably all kids struggle against at some point as they strive for independence. At Perfect Ponies even my child who requires constant supervision, communicates in his way with the horses. The equine friends he has made have comforted him, carried him, and learned to read his cues both verbal and non better than some of us adults who are consumed with so many of life’s details. He has bonded with two in particular and grieved when one special pal’s age took him from this world. My oldest has learned that he is strong, confident, and able when he only puts in the effort to care and try. His growth from a silly little boy into a capable young man has been something to behold. My now 13 year old used to wait to be told to do or try things, would not speak unless directly spoken to, and would only do the very minimal amount of effort with the horses. He has grown with years of persistence into this charming boy, full of questions, and brimming with confidence that he can approach the care of a horse with skill. My youngest, who really was only a toddler when we started, would hang by my side and try to escape interaction or work of any kind. He’s now brimming with ideas for activities, plans for the next adventure, and talking all our ears off. Each visit is independent of a set in stone plan. We usually start the summer with goals, but every visit is different because we could be experiencing individual moods, growing pains/hormones, or maybe the weather just cries for something new and fun. Six years is a long time to stick with something; we do it because we have bonded with the experience, the animals, and a couple of really patient amazing people.”
– Parent of Four