| Nov 27, 2023
Matthew and his Sisters Ride and Learn
Thank you for supporting scholarships for the children and adults with special needs that participate in our programs. We began a new program year in tandem with the start of school here in Florida and it has been a whirlwind ever since!
With your help we are able to provide over 1,400 hours of service to children and adults with speicial needs across three distinct programs - Therapeutic Riding, Unmounted Horsemanship, and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy. One of our participants even showed off his skills during one of our major fundraising events.
Matthew and his two sisters participate in our Therapeutic Riding program. While all three have a degree of hearing loss, Matthew is fully deaf and has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since he started riding, his mom has noticed that his impulse control has improved, as well as his attention span. Matthew and his sisters can be seen arriving to the barn every Saturday. Not only is the barn a place where they ride - it is also their place to recieve tutoring from the local school district in American Sign Language (ASL). Their tutor meets with the entire family to assist in helping with communication and specific signing words to make school work easier.
After an hour of tutoring, the siblings head to the arena and mount their horses - where Matthew and his volunteer, Joan communicate exclusively in American Sign Language. Joan arrived as a volunteer at Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida (EATSF) a year after Matthew, and has helped the EATSF team learn specific riding ASL signs, and improve Matthew's overall experience.
For over 40 years, the relationships that are forged between our volunteers and participants is irreplaceable. It is this partnership that makes a difference in the arena, at home, and in the classroom. These are friendships that last a lifetime!
Your gift provides for a portion of their session fees and assists with the care and feeding of our 11 horses. It also helps pay for the Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors and Equine Specialists that teach lessons; and provide our volunteers with valuable training that helps to make our programs possible.
We thank you for your support of individuals like Matthew. You have helped to pave the Path to Independence for those that visit the barn. Thank you for continuing to be a part of our stable of friends.