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Students'
Stories

"I haven't seen my daughter grin so much in years. The confidence Geyser gives her means more to our family than words can ever express!

Joanne L, mother of a participant.

 

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1994. My neurologist at the MS Care Center was reluctant to give me a prognosis for independent walking and caregiving, but with an aggressive form of the disease, I insisted that plans needed to be made. He estimated ten years before a wheelchair would be required. It is now 2023, and I still only use a cane or walker.

Many factors could obviously be responsible for this positive result. But many years ago, my doctor suggested that horseback riding could improve my difficulties with balance, coordination, strength, and cognitive problems. I have attended classes at Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Riding Center(EHTRC) since that time and definitely feel that my experience there has notably helped with not only these issues but also with the simple joy of working with my selected horse, Dewey and the entire staff.

The certified instructors are quick to recognize your impairments and easily coach you and your horse to address your needs while making the entire experience a true delight. The instructors and volunteer staff ensure your safety and learning experience while adding smiling faces to a challenging workout. For the many possible reasons I have remained ambulatory, I suspect my time spent at EHTRC is an important factor.

Many thanks to the staff and to the many donors who make this possible. My minimal fee does not begin to cover the expense of operating the farm and maintaining the health of the many horses that help so many of us with mental and/or physical challenges. Your donation to EHTRC as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS is much appreciated.
Gregory H. participant.

 

To the Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Riding Center staff: Thank you for offering the equineassisted therapy program to veterans. It has been one of those opportunities and experiences of a lifetime for me, and it was offered to me during a time of grieving when I needed it the most, so thank you! This safe space has allowed me the time to heal with the other veterans. I feel blessed with warmth and gratitude.
Stephanie H. participant.

 

My special needs son is 39 years old. As a family, we've been "around the barn" (excuse the play on words) regarding our experiences with programs that support kids and adults with special needs.

Emerald Hollow is at the top of my list of great programs for a simple reason: my son loves it there. He feels encouraged and rewarded. He's worked hard for success and overcome obstacles that I secretly thought were insurmountable because of his experiences at Emerald Hollow. He is calmer, healthier, and more confident because of his time there.

The secret to his success is well everything. But it starts at the top. Nikki and her mother, Nancy, are the best. Warm, responsible, encouraging, and easy to work with, they care about every living being (human and horse) in the program.

One of his major challenges is weight. He has a genetically and neurologically based eating disorder and had to lose significant weight before he could ride a horse. He spent over a year mucking stalls, learning to groom and tack his horse while working on his weight. With the support and encouragement of Nikki and her team, he stuck with it, despite setbacks. Finally, and happily, he succeeded. His pride in accomplishing his goal is palpable. Our whole family thanks and supports Emerald Hollow, and we believe the whole world should too!

Anne M., mother of a participant.

 

Our son Chris started riding at Emerald Hollow in 2016. If he could articulate what he likes and loves about riding at Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Riding Center, it would read something like this:

I have been riding at Emerald Hollow for seven years. This experience has helped me greatly with my concentration skills and helps me feel calmer. I have Down Syndrome and a mental health disorder that impacts my life daily. When I ride, it helps improve my self-confidence and helps me feel good about myself. Smiles that don't come easily are always bright on my face when I'm riding and give me an incredible feeling of accomplishment.

Nikki and her volunteers always help me feel safe and secure. They are always so nice and helpful and help to keep me focused. The confidence and concentration that Emerald Hollow instilled in me helped me get a part-time job at a local convenience store. I recently bought my first riding helmet, which has made me very happy. Thank you, Emerald Hollow.

Bob & Chris. A, participant and his father.

 

I take riding lessons at Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Riding Center and volunteer as a horse leader.
In my riding lessons, I practice patterns that help me be a better rider. As a horse leader, I assist students when they are riding. During a lesson when I'm volunteering, I lead the horse helping the student steer their mount.
Volunteering as a horse leader at Emerald Hollow is one of the best opportunities to be involved with horses. It makes me proud that I can assist other disabled people when they are riding.
Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Riding Center is one of the best equine facilities providing therapeutic riding for those with disabilities. One thing that keeps it going is the generous donations made by those who are so caring. If you love horses and care to donate, you'll greatly help support their incredible work. 
Jon O, participant & volunteer

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