The impact that SpiritHorse has on its students reaches beyond the riding arena!
"We recently had Jay's yearly ISP with his case workers and care providers in his group home, and two adult programs that he attends during the week. It's been a long, long time since we've had such an upbeat and positive meeting. The only new addition to his life this past year has been his riding and love of Nikki, all attributed to you and Spirit Horse.
In addition to an overall improved mood, attitude and happiness, there seems to be a new-found sense of responsibility that is translating into wanting to keep his room cleaner, pick up his work spaces at his programs, speaking and interacting more with his peers and just generally enjoying life more. Who knew all this could be attributed to the love of a horse?
Many thanks to you and your program, Charlotte! We look forward to wonderful things to come."
JEREHMEEL & JAZMINE
"When we first came to SpiritHorse, my son Jerehmeel was 13yrs old. Jerehmeel, who has autism and is non verbal, had just recently been diagnosed as intellectually disabled, and had steadily increasing problems with sensory processing that were taking over his happiness. I had a friend that knew Charlotte personally and recommended I talk to her. I came to SpiritHorse initially seeking out a recreational activity that he would enjoy and also provide proprioceptive input to help with his sensory needs.
Charlotte was able to identify Jerehmeel’s challenges and create a riding plan perfectly catered to them. I never would have imagined that feeling the steady pace and firm stride of a horse's gait while riding could benefit him in so many ways. Within the first few weeks there was a notable increase in his communication, coordination, his ability to focus, eye contact, increased muscle tone, and most importantly a significant decrease in anxiety. While Jerehmeel has difficulty bonding with others, his bond with horses is amazing. He will stop riding many times during a session so he can hug the horse he's riding for a minute or two.
A few months into riding, his teacher and in-home therapists would comment about his ability to focus, and the significant increase of communication attempts were phenomenal. They did not even know he had started therapeutic riding and was riding every week. Because of his new ability to focus, he became teachable. So we started teaching him to communicate through ASL and his iPad. Now he's been riding for 2 and a half years and his vocabulary is huge. He is able to communicate his needs in a way that we can understand him. Jerehmeel understands his needs now, and he knows what riding does for him. There have been weeks where all Jerehmeel wants to do is hug his horse and other times he wants to ride as fast as Charlotte will allow. Him knowing his own needs is huge progress.
Jerehmeel's younger sister, Jazmine, has been taking riding lessons too. She is 8 years old and a typical developing child, but she is very shy and does not speak much. She's making amazing progress herself. She loves riding and takes great pride in it, but has also learned that she needs to be in control of the horse she's riding, and that shyness don't work with horses.
I highly recommend Charlotte and the SpiritHorse crew. Her knowledge of horsemanship and therapeutic riding is what makes this program so great."