Day #20: We Can Ride

Day 20

Day 20

This is a make good from yesterday, because I missed the daily post. Also, a little shout out for being half way through the 40 days of good news.

Last year I began volunteering at a place called We Can Ride. It offers therapeutic horseback riding for people living with disabilities of special needs.

I originally began volunteering there because I loved the idea of being around horses every week and getting to hopefully help some really cool kids learn to ride.

I started in the spring session, and immediately realized how amazing the riders truly were. Originally I was worried I wasn’t qualified to work with the kids, or help with their riding lessons, but I soon discovered the biggest component of the program was just stepping aside to let the riders truly shine and demonstrate their abilities.

It’s a blessing to get to watch these kids come week after week and master something they were struggling with the week previous, or see the smiles on the parents faces as their children go trotting around the arena.

One week in particular I was working with a young boy with autism when his horse suddenly spooked. The horse reared, and the woman leading the horse fell over. The boy held on but when the horse came back down he gently fell off the side. We caught him before he hit the ground, but the damage was done. He was completely frightened.

Luckily his mom was there to soothe him. She had ridden as  young girl and was understanding of the situation. She didn’t blame us leaders, or even the horse. She simply told the boy that the horse had been frightened and instead subtly implied that the horses feelings would be hurt if the boy didn’t get back on and continue riding.

At this point most other parents probably would have cursed, or yelled, or headed for the car, but she didn’t. It took a while, but after enough encouragement the boy got back on the horse and tentatively finished his ride.

The next week the boy came back for another lesson. Shocked, I watched as he confidently mounted the horse, and told me “it wasn’t the horse’s fault last week – he got scared.” And if that wasn’t enough he went on to say. “if I fall again this week, I will just throw my head back and laugh.”

Wow. It was enough for me to realize that the things that throw us off balance everyday are actually much smaller than they seem. Maybe we can even laugh our way through them.

We Can Ride

If you have any stories of good news to share, please send them my way.

Thanks again.

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One thought on “Day #20: We Can Ride

  1. I enjoy all of your stories but really thought this was very special. Maybe it’s because you shared a bit of yourself with this story. Keep up the good work!

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