Special E has helped Mallory become more confident, more social, more verbal, and more independent. She has experienced moments of great success in the program – she helps put the saddle on her horse, gets the lead line and reins so she can lead him to the arena, and she mounts, steers, stops, and dismounts on cue. Each week you can see the excitement on her face when she walks past the horses in their stalls calling each one by name. Riding has helped her be able to follow several commands in a row and has greatly improved her motor skills. It makes her feel special and it is something she knows she can do – all thanks to Special Equestrians. (Evelyn Driggers, 2011)
Emily has had a wonderful, exciting experience over the past five weeks! We are so proud to see her sitting in a saddle and riding like a big girl! I know she is proud of herself, and this is the most fun she has ever had in therapy. Thanks to all of you for your care, experience, and hard work. (2010)
Darshan was born with hydrocephalus. By the time he turned one we were told in no uncertain terms that he would never walk, never talk, and that he would be deaf and blind. Today at age is 11 Darshan is legally blind but can see with glasses, he can hear a pin drop in the next room, he was walking and will hopefully walk again, and he has over a 50 word vocabulary. Everyone told me that Special Equestrians would help him improve his balance and stretch his muscles. We quickly found out that that was just the tip of the iceberg. Since Darshan started riding he has become more outgoing. His vocabulary has increased, his balance is definitely improved. This year, Darshan became very ill. He spent 126 consecutive days in the hospital. He was in a coma for 10 days and we were very scared for his survival. As he began his recovery, the first request he had was for “horse,” “whoa,” “walk.” Riding Oreo (Oh Oh as Darshan calls him) has really changed his life for the better. We feel so blessed to have such a wonderful program with amazing and caring staff and volunteers right here in our backyard. SE has given our son the power and courage to know that he can do anything that he puts his mind to and that nothing is impossible. That is a priceless lesson. There is no way that we will ever be able to thank this amazing program for what it has done for our son and family.
As a former volunteer, I cannot say enough about Special Equestrians of Birmingham, AL and the wonderful people and horses and the work they do. Special Equestrians provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted activities to persons with a wide range of disabilities. As Winston Churchill said, "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." (Jami Davis, posted on Facebook 2012)
Special Equestrians changed my life! Being a full time mom, working full time, and being a full time wife, I decided one day that I needed something for me. I made up my mind to locate an organization to volunteer my time with. My love for children and my love for animals lead me to Special Equestrians. While I wasn't sure I could dedicate one day a week with a small child at home, I figured what the heck, "I'll give it a shot for 9 short weeks". Well.....I fell in love. It truly changed my life. It made me a better Mom, a better wife, a better person. This organization and the special people I have met through it (even Tom:-) ) have made me a better person just from knowing them! (Jenny Moore, Sunday Volunteer, 2008)