TODAY'S NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS:
Join us for this fun event to benefit our mission!
Congratulations to Clinical Coordinator/ Master Instructor Marny Mansfield, OTR, and participant Katie U. on their 2014 PATH Intl. awards! Marny was selected as the Certified Professional of the Year for our region and is in the running for the national award at PATH's annual conference in San Diego the last week of October. Katie was selected as the national Youth Equestrian of the Year and has won a scholarship to fund her trip to the conference. Many thanks to Program Coordinator/Advanced Instructor Emily Wygod for writing and submitting the nominations. Way to go, ladies!
The Rider's Closet is currently in need of donations of new or gently used show jackets and show shirts in smaller children's and adult sizes (sizes 2-10). Paddock boots, tall boots, breeches and half-chaps are also always welcome.
Click here for details on donating or requesting apparel.
Like most organizations, we have a mission statement that serves as a guidepost for everything we do: To provide the therapeutic benefits of equine-assisted activities to people with special needs, military veterans and at-risk individuals, including disadvantaged youth and abuse survivors.
While the above words accurately describe what we do here at Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, we believe it is the impact our mission has on our students that truly defines who we are. The best way to express this impact is in the words of the students themselves, their parents and our invaluable volunteers:
“Horses don’t judge you by how clearly you speak.” (Quote from a child with severe verbal apraxia: excellent receptive language, poor expressive language.)
“Pegasus has given my son a purpose in his life….Whatever it takes to be around horses he will do….Outside of riding he is consumed in fear….Well, thank God for Pegasus and therapeutic horseback riding—it is one hour in his life each week when my son thinks about nothing else but pleasure. Someday when he gets older, I hope to find a job for him taking care of horses. No matter what the capacity, it will give him a future to look forward to.”
“Walk on!” (The first words ever uttered by a six-year old autistic rider -- to his horse -- bringing his mom, the instructor and several volunteers to tears.)
I have volunteered for Pegasus for 22 years. What hooked me and keeps me coming back—in addition to making wonderful friends and falling in love with all manner of four-footed saints—is that the therapy is truly magical. When a child with cerebral palsy takes his first step on the ground because of the motion he learned from his horse; when an autistic pre-teen begins to focus on the horse instead of on the distant sounds of a tractor; when a blind rider finds the confidence to let his horse help him move safely in space—well, these are miracles!
“The only time our daughter can sit at the table for a family meal is after a riding class. She is then calm and relaxed and able to really be a part of the family. Her teachers love for her to ride—after a riding session she can sit and attend in class."
“Each week, Pegasus transforms my son from a nervous, timid boy to a confident prince on his royal steed.”
“We are very thankful that an organization such as Pegasus exists. Having a child diagnosed with special needs is very challenging. One of the most heartbreaking things is the realization that participation in typical sporting activities will be almost impossible. Knowing that our son may never hit a baseball, run a race or win a game for the team is difficult to accept. Our son is always the spectator. He watches patiently and cheers enthusiastically when his brother scores a goal or his sister catches a ball. Our son needs the same opportunities to hear people cheer for him. Pegasus has been able to give him these opportunities. In addition to its therapeutic benefits, Pegasus has given our son confidence, enjoyment and a true sense of accomplishment. We, as parents, are thankful that we can cheer for him as he trots around the ring. After riding, when he gives us a ‘high five’ we know he is feeling as good as he would if he were the MVP of the ‘World Series.’”
“This is my second year volunteering, and not only have I met many wonderful students, I've also met some wonderful volunteers as well. I particularly feel good when I see a student's face light up when he/she sees “their” horse, or when they feel on top of the world when they're sitting in the saddle. I think Pegasus not only gives the students a sense of accomplishment, but also the volunteers. I know I feel great when a normally introverted rider suddenly forgets his or her disabilities or daily troubles and begins talking and opening up to the volunteers around them. This is when I feel I've made a connection with them and that Pegasus has definitely made a difference in their lives.”