Most of the people who contact Horses Connect about our Therapeutic Services are parents of children with some kind of disability.
These parents are true warriors because they battle every hour of every day to give that child the best life possible. They fight for services, for education, for assessments, for equipment and for just about anything their son or daughter needs.
They’re also fighting an unseen, often unacknowledged, inner battle that includes constant worry about the future, grief for what might have been and guilt for how they may have contributed to their child’s condition, or how they should have done things differently or noticed something sooner. And then there’s the strain on finances, relationships, siblings and friendships.
When parents arrive at Horses Connect for their child’s initial assessment, we are already aware of how much that mother and father are carrying, so we do our best to lighten their load for 30 minutes once a week.
It takes great trust to hand your precious and sometimes fragile child over to strangers who then put him or her on horse. All the tears, worry and sleepless nights they have invested in the child up to that moment melt away when they see the joy and hear the laughter. As the child relaxes and starts to engage with the coaches, the parents begin to breathe again.
Little by little, week by week, those parents let go. They release some of that worry and guilt and grief and they begin to look more like themselves again – even if only for 30 minutes, once a week. They put down the weight of all they’ve been carrying and they take a break, while we look after their child.
When the session is over and we return a happy and relaxed child to happy and relaxed parents, we know we – and our amazing horses – have done our job.
The Therapeutic effects of Therapeutic Horse-riding extend much further than the riders!
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