The connection my Adin seemed to have with the horses was absolutely amazing, and immediate. Riding gave him a sense of freedom, improves his posture, loosened him up and he enjoyed it very much. Everyone is so kind and caring. We are so thankful for Stars and Strides and for their efforts put forward to making our son’s life happier.
JOHNNA KAY RUTH MULLENNEX has Down Syndrome and has been coming to Stars and Strides for the past couple of years, she loves to go for a drive and see the horses. In the beginning she wouldn’y get out of the car or go near them. Until we started coming weekly to therapy the spring/summer of 2017 when Ms. Teena started working with Johnna. It took several tries and even going out to sit in the pasture with the horses. Johnna really loves Ms. Teena, she took her time with Johnna giving her special attention that she needed. And time. Then all a sudden after several visits and attempts to get Johnna to even pet the horses, Teena was able to get Johnna to put on the purple helmet and she helped her onto air, then she just sit for a bit, no ride. A week later we pulled in, got Johnna out of the car and she ran to Teena and went straight to Zoey and started riding. From that day forward, Johnna was so excited to go see Zoey and ride and have Teena and everyone with her. Zoey is the only animal that Johnna likes. Stars and Strides and everybody involved are absolutely amazing and patient and give Johnna the special attention she so needed. And the horse Zoey is quite amazing. I TRUELY believe Zoey knows exactly what Johnna needed, and could sense Johnnas fear and was so gentle with her. It TRUELY amazes me that Zoey could sense that Johnna was different and special.
Our son, Nathan, has been going to Stars and Strides for 2 years. He loves riding and interacting with volunteers. He has grown so much since participating with this program. Nathan has hearing loss and his speech was delayed. He can now carry on conversations with you. He gets so excited to go ever week!
Stars and Strides has been so great for my 5-year- old son. He started two years ago when he had some mild social and motor delays. We have noticed such a change in him. He engages with the horses and the volunteers and it has helped with his language development and conversational skills. Therapeutic riding has drastically improved his core strength and balance. He would fall at least five times out of his chair at dinner and now that is a rarity. He can now learn to pedal his bike instead of worrying about falling off the seat. He can do so many more activities at or near an age appropriate level.
This organization and its people have been wonderful for our whole family. The team is so patient with the riders and even their little, rambunctious siblings. They have provided this mom a chance to watch her son enjoy and flourish with an activity. They show me that there are others that are genuinely interested in the success and happiness of my child, without asking for anything in return. They are such a wonderful support system that truly care about the lives of the people in the program. They selflessly give up so much of their time and energy so that the children and adults can not only meet their goals, but can thrive and have a joyous time.