Reader Story

Reader Story
woman in wheelchair smiles next to black therapy horse at equine therapy barn

Pride

I have been riding at the REATH Center for two years now. It has become a big part of my life. When I was born, I was diagnosed with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a congenital joint contracture in two or more areas of the body.

a palomino Pony of the Americas stands on a grassy lawn in front of a red barn

Hamilton

"From therapy lessons with children with cerebral palsy to teaching a beginner rider with a slight mental disability how to trot by themselves to competing in mid-level eventing, Hami does it all..."

sorrel horse with star and stripe

Hotrod

"It was a July day, the sun was bearing down, and I had just slid out of the saddle after a trail ride. My helmet was loose—most of my hair was gone. My blood pressure was low, a side effect of chemo..."

Army veteran John S. stands next to therapy horse Hot Rod, petting his neck

Hot Rod

"I'm an Army veteran who has a traumatic brain injury, major depression, and anxiety. Before I got involved with horse therapy life just felt like a dark road I was just wandering on..."

young rider sitting on a bay horse at therapeutic riding center surrounded by volunteers

Nemo

Nemo was an 11-year-old Welsh pony listed online for sale. The ad said he was a hunter/jumper pony, great temperament, and ridden by a child...

young boy (with happy face emoji over face to protect identity) holding a blue rope and leading a sorrel horse. The boy is also petting the horse's cheek.

Buttons

Tentatively and quietly he said, "I can't go to school." The words came out as if they had been clawing in his throat all day and finally managed to narrowly escape...

woman wearing blue shirt and black cowboy hat riding a sorrel horse and giving a thumbs up

Kody

I was the Equestrian Director of a private school named Bachman Academy, for children with special needs. They ranged in grades from middle school to high school...

girl with short hair hugs Shetland pony in driving cart harness

Basil

Horses have been a wonderful source of comfort in my life. But the first pony I brought home, a little Shetland my neighbor had rescued from the local auction, well, I wouldn’t have called him “comforting”...

rider in gray tank top and black breeches rides sorrel horse in English saddle on grass

Angie

On April 6, 2018, I stood in a college auditorium and scanned rows filled by my faculty colleagues, students, family, and friends—the people I most admire and want to respect me. Then I said something I never thought I’d utter aloud...

woman in graduation cap and gown hugs the face of a brown horse

Maddie

When I was 16, I begged my parents to let me ride the beautiful, *very* recently saddle-broke PMU mare that our good family friend had recently bought...

woman in pink shirt trail riding on sorrel horse

Rio and Bandit

I was an avid horsewoman with extensive trail riding experience. I also dabbled in Limited Distance and enjoying Mounted Orienteering. But late November 2016, I suffered a terrible side effect to the flu shot called Guillain Barre Syndrome...

paint equine therapy horse in barn

Jake

Jake is a 21-year-old Tennessee Walker Paint gelding that has been working for the 4-H Grand Equestrians Therapeutic Riding Program in Howell Michigan for longer than I can remember.

THT_JJ

JJ

I have miniature therapy horses. JJ was my first one and the one I take out visiting the most as he's the one that seems to connect with the people who need it the most.