“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.

One day, I got a call about a horse that used to work in Pigeon Forge at the former Dixie Stampede, for Dolly Parton’s show, that the announcer rode. They said he was too old and they were going to euthanize him. I drove 80 miles to see him, he was very thin and sad. My heart told me to take him. I took him home and had his teeth and vaccinations done, and he perfectly behaved. I named the horse Kody.

I had a little 5-year-old girl who had club feet, and she has to wear braces inside her boots. This horse was magic; she rode this 16+ hands horse by herself, and her feet are getting straighter each time.

Kody also has another rider named Hope, 17, who had many behavioral difficulties and could no longer attend school. Her parents were at their wit’s end. At Hope’s first lesson, I told her all about Kody’s story. She was scared but something magical happened that day. Before she left, she sat on him, and her parents were sitting there with their jaws dropped. The next lesson, she saddled her own horse and then she mounted him. Kody stood like a statue for her. I asked her if I could lead her to the end of the barn. She said yes, then she rode around the barn and in the round pen. The next ride she rode independently, riding behind my horse on trail. Hope said she could not describe what she felt when she rode Kody.

One day, Hope’s mother called me, ecstatic. Hope had told her that she wants to go back to school! God sent me this horse. He is a very special horse, he helps like he has a special gift.” —Linda T.

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