Motivational horses and people!

hey friends!

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel content to just chill in a chair and let the world go by?  How do you get motivated to get to work?

My son participates in therapeutic riding at a place in TN called Trinity Farm.  (for more info, their website is  )

Many years ago, our family lived in Montana.   My grandpa had a ranch with 2 quarter horses named Queen and King, and a shetland pony called Prince.  My earliest memories from age 0 to 5 included the horses.  Feeding them, brushing them, drawing pictures of them, riding them, and helping when I could.  In my teen years, my folks let me take english riding and jumping classes.  I loved it, but in high school at some time I gave that up to run track and dance ballet.

When we were looking for a sport or activity for our son in Minnesota, therapeutic riding was suggested and we started with that at about age 6 or 7.   We would get to the facility, and the horse was already tacked up and ready to go (western saddle).  When we were done, they led him away and we left.

After moving to TN, I asked again about therapeutic riding.  Gavin didn’t do well with soccer, and I wanted something he could do almost year round.  Our pediatrician recommended Jason and Poppy Doyle.  After filling out the forms we started working with Poppy and their therapeutic riding coach, Jenna.  I was impressed with the approach they used.  The students were encouraged to help with everything!  Grooming, hooves, tack, all of it.  This gave Gavin great practice with fine motor skills, (buckles, brushes, etc) proprioceptive input (handling a heavy saddle, wearing a helmet, riding breeches, and half chaps, and of course trotting) and required balance and coordination.  Wow!  It was like several therapy sessions built into one!

We still have behavioral issues.  He still has days where his standard answer is NO!  In the first set of photos, Gavin couldn’t seem to get out of his chair.  So, if you can’t get the rider to the horse, you take the horse to the rider!  Jenna took Teddy (the horse) over with a bucket of toys and Gavin found a car he was interested in.  Finally, he was on his feet!

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In this set of pictures, Jenna introduces the car to Teddy, who seemed very interested in checking it out.  In the next frame, Teddy is wearing the car on his head!

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Finally, we get to the business of riding!

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Thanks to everyone at Trinity Farms TN for providing a safe and loving environment for these special kids to learn!  Have a great week, everyone!  

p.s. I was using my Canon 50D with the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS for these photos!  🙂