We’ve been receiving your Kindness Matters Giveaway entries and love all of your heartwarming volunteer stories. Below is a letter we received from our bud, Jen, sharing her volunteer experience:
I have been volunteering and teaching therapeutic riding lessons with Coastal Therapeutic Riding Program near Wilmington, NC since 2006. We offer equine therapy to people with disabilities. The most amazing experience for me is when we take a person who has always used a wheelchair and we put them on a horse and they suddenly are given legs to run and play with!
|Beans, part of the staff! 🙂|
Most people don’t understand the benefits of therapeutic riding, but there are more than I can list in a short response. But, to summarize, the horse’s movement simulates that of a human and actually causes the same muscles a person uses to walk and run to activate just by sitting on the horse. In this way, people can build and develop those same muscles and, in some cases, even develop the strength to walk!
Therapeutic riding also has incredible communication, emotional and social benefits. It is something I have enjoyed for a long time and will continue to enjoy my entire life!
Included is a photo of one of our riders who has been with the program for about 10 years. After each lesson, he ‘hugs’ the horse and tells the horse how much he loves him. Horseback riding is Josh’s favorite weekly activity. Here, he is ‘hugging’ Merle, one of our horses we sadly loss to colic almost 2 years ago.
And just a heads-up, buds, there are still more $25 coupon codes to be claimed, so feel free to enter our Kindness Matters Giveaway and share your volunteer story and photo with us.