In 2000, a turn in my life took place and a decision needed to be made. At the age of 52, I decided to leave real estate and general construction behind and work on my true passion and dream.
After a great deal of research and prayer, I decided to combine my love of horses, my education and my ranch into a premiere therapeutic riding facility. A place where children and adults who are mentally and physically challenged, can ride and benefit from the many talents a horse has to offer. My prayers were answered.
My son Cory age 26 yrs. has been doing therapeutic riding at Glenoak Therapeutic Riding Center for the past 4 1/2 years.
This program has helped my son tremendously. Riding is his most favorite thing in this world to do. Cory is unable to communicate verbally but the smile he has on his face the entire time he is riding “says it all.” As soon as we turn off the main road to go to the facility he recognizes where we are and he stars laughing and rocking in his seat. He can’t wait to get on his horse.
When he first gets on the horse you can see how tight his muscles are and the trouble he has with his balance. In just a matter of a few minutes you can see how his body starts relaxing and his balance improves and the biggest smile you have ever seen comes to his face. Not only does this program benefit my son physically it also provides tremendous joy for him.We are very grateful there is a program like this available to us and thank God for the wonderful dedicated people that run this program and all the caring volunteers.
My name is Ms. Louise Wasson. I’m 49 this year. I have been riding in Charlene’s program since 2003.
I was injured by drunk driver in 1994 when I was 33 and suffered a traumatic brain injury making movement of any kind difficult. After the hospitals I went to several rehabilitation places to help myself. Use to jump horses when a teenager so this program was a God send.
Riding the horse has helped my balance and is like a all over body massage…. I almost feel like I have no problems when I’m working on the horse. My personal trainer can always tell when I’ve ridden as my movements are so much more fluid! It helps my body move and I’m doing therapy that is outside and doesn’t seem like work!
Here is a picture of me on one of the horses in the program. I now usually ride Charlie or Girlfriend as they move best to help my movement. Different horses for different folks one of the great things of this program.
Stephen C came to my attention last summer when I volunteered to become his Family Outreach mentor. He was grieving because he had lost his mother when she was suddenly and violently killed in a car wreck caused by a drunk driver. In a sense he also lost his father, because his father was that drunk driver. It was a felony drunk driving situation and his father when to the penitentiary for 25 years. Stephen and his 4 siblings went to live with their maternal grandparents. The entire family was grieving because the grandparents never had a chance to grieve the loss of their daughter before becoming responsible for raising 5 children.
Stephen is 9 years old and a very quiet child. His grandmother told me that Stephen was the only child who did not get to go with another adult once a week. The girls got to go with a woman who was their mother’s best friend and a person who had children of similar age. The other 2 boys got to go with various relatives.
Stephen started the Equine Sharing Program in the summer. He looked forward to the lessons and at first was so excited that he could not sleep the previous night. The program helped him as he learned the passive leadership skills of riding. I took pictures and he has shown the pictures to everyone at school. He has told me that, in a way, he can communicate spiritually with the horse. He can tell the horse when he is sad. This is a wonderful thing because Stephen does not tell me or his grandparents much about his feelings. But I can see benefits. There is been a decrease in his understandable anger at home and at school. He has made gifts for David and promised to show his school report card to David, who has shown an individual interest in him.
The program has been a lifeline for this 9 year old boy when other interventions were not reaching him.