EquiCenter has meant so much to me in my life. I have built a lot of confidence, strength, and determination because of my riding. I achieved the goal that I made for myself years ago by winning a Gold Medal competing in equestrian for Special Olympics. Also, I have earned the respect and friendships of all the volunteers and instructors that have worked with me over the years at EquiCenter.
I’m currently riding on Rebecca who I first rode when she arrived at EquiCenter several years ago. When Rebecca came to EquiCenter, she was very heavy. She didn’t like to trot and she would only trot for a short way. Rebecca was good for me to ride then because I needed a lot of help to learn to trot and I couldn’t trot very far either. When I started riding better, I stopped riding Rebecca and started to ride Rayne and Benji. Over the next couple of years, I got to be a better rider and a more independent rider. Meanwhile, Rebecca got skinnier and more athletic.
Last year I began to ride Rebecca again. This time around she challenges me to be an even better rider. She makes me pay attention and use my leg muscles to keep her moving at a good pace and to trot. Now I can trot all the way around the arena with very little help from the volunteers. Everybody who has worked with me over the years has said that we work well together as a team. She helps me to keep my balance, focus on our course, and pay attention so we can do well in the lesson. I have also learned that the more nervous I get on Rebecca the more nervous she gets so I need to work on being less nervous each and every week of my lessons.
I hope to become an independent rider in the future. That is the goal that I hope to accomplish next.
Equicenter truly is a magical place for anybody who has special needs and dreams of riding a horse someday. We work with riders who have special needs, at-risk youth, and veterans who have been injured while serving our country in the military. I hope EquiCenter continues to be that special place for many years to come.