In the rolling hills of Kentucky, there are many horse farms. Farms with big white barns and Thoroughbred horses. There is one special farm, or center in my heart: The REATH Center. REATH stands for Riding Enhanced Around Therapeutic Horses. This center is a calm place for many kids and adults in or around Campbellsville, Kentucky. There are many people with disabilities or special needs that can benefit from therapeutic riding.
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.
Since I was 6 years old, I have loved horses. No matter if I was in the vehicle going down the road seeing a horse, or just going up to pet one, it was a big deal for me. Riding at this small center has changed my life. I have become closer to horses and learned more about them.
The REATH Center has two horses. A Tennessee Walker named Pride and a miniature horse named Frosty. Pride is so special to me. I have ridden him for two years now, and he feels like my own horse. I treat him as my own. This horse is like no other horse. I feel like I have a special connection with him that I would have with no one else.
Pride is about 29 years old and has been at the REATH Center for as long as I can remember. Originally a show horse, his owner donated him to the REATH Center. Pride was trained to be a perfect therapy horse. He is now used to kids, wheelchairs, loud noises, and much more. I trust him completely. I am able to ride him on my own with no side walkers or leader. I know that he will take care of me. I have leg braces that I wear to walk and I have a wheelchair for some occasions. I take my braces off when I ride and that is freedom for me. Pride is my legs. Since I can’t walk without braces, this is the only hobby I can do freely with nothing but a horse. This horse has taken care of me from the beginning, and I love him with all my heart. I am very thankful for the REATH Center and Pride. —J. Cox
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