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2020 Therapy Horse of the Year Finalist: Buddie

A young girl wearing a blue frilly skirt and brown cowboy boots leads a sorrel horse with a purple rope halter. She is looking at the horse and smiling.

Buddie was selected as a finalist in the 2020 Therapy Horse of the Year contest. 

"When our 3-year-old daughter started attending equine therapy [at Faith, Hope, and Horses], she had a vocabulary of less than 50 words and was imitating 2+ word combinations 30% of the time. She had worked diligently in speech and occupational therapy for over a year for her speech delay and sensory processing disorder, but something was missing.

Little did we know it was a 30-year-old horse named Buddie. On her first day of therapy, Buddie approached her while she was sitting on the steps and he nudged her with his nose. He chose her. Their bond has been beautifully unfolding ever since.

Within nine weeks, her word imitation jumped to 60% and she was able to imitate CVC word structures with a 90% accuracy. Her gross motor skills and balance have significantly improved, and we felt as though were watching a miracle unfold right before our eyes.

While we couldn’t be happier with her progress, what brings us the most happiness is the joy she has around this horse. One cold December afternoon we listened to her talking to Buddie as she groomed him and we heard her say, 'I love you Buddie.' Our daughter’s first 'I love you' was not to a person, but to her beloved Buddie. Each week she eagerly awaits our trip to the farm, and she runs to the round pen to find Buddie waiting for her. Buddie has brought out a part of our daughter that we always knew was within her and we're forever grateful for that." —Kelsey B. 

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Thank you to everyone who entered! And thank you to Nutrena Feed and Tractor Supply Co.for supporting Hope in the Saddle and putting together an awesome prize package for our winners!

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