13620 Halleluiah Trail
Elbert, CO 80106
Phone: (719) 495-3908
Fax: (719) 494-1689
Interview with PPTRC Feature Family from Country Couture Fashion Show 2016
EMILY AND LOGAN'S STORYOne of the rewards of being a PATH International Premier Accredited Center is the opportunity to receive benefits such as the Century Link PATH Scholarship. This fall, two of our riders were awarded full tuition for their 8-week fall session. Along with their families, we are very grateful for this opportunity to provide services for Emily and Logan. Here is what their parents had to say about it:
“First of all, I want to tell you how thankful we are that Emily was given such a wonderful opportunity! Emily is absolutely loving the experience. During Emily's sessions, she has demonstrated increased ability to plan fine motor movements. She was giving commands in sign as well as producing the beginning and ending sounds of words like walk, and combining two words together when making a verbal attempt such as "walk on.” This is really awesome because Emily is completely non verbal. It's not that she won't talk, her apraxia causes a disconnect from her brain to her fine muscles. She really wants to talk and often tries so hard to make it come out of her mouth. So the speech production that she was able to accomplish was amazing and I know she felt a great sense of pride and confidence that she was able to communicate like this. Emily's autism also creates a social and emotional barrier between her and other people. Being on a horse and learning how to work with the horse helps the child form a bond with the animal and can be a gateway then, to be able to then expand that experience to the people that helped them with the horse and then other people in different settings as well such as teachers, or family members. During Emily's most recent visit, as her trainer walked up to greet her, Emily made deliberate eye contact with her and reached up and grabbed her trainer's hand! That was so exciting! Thanks again for helping to make this possible for Emily!”
“I am so grateful that we have this opportunity for Logan. He loves all kinds of animals and enjoys riding and interacting with the horses so much. Many thanks to Century Link & PATH, and to Playdate for getting us connected!”
~ From Nancy Beers, PPTRC Program Director; Quotes by Emily and Logan's parents
ALISSA'S STORYAlissa was born with severe jaundice and heart defects. Whether it is your first baby or third, your first thoughts are that it can be fixed and it will be ok – you are literally in a fog of denial. I was no different. After years of wondering and worrying about Alissa’s development and questioning her pediatrician, we were finally sent for genetic testing. Alissa is 11 now and what we know is that she exhibits the signs and characteristics of someone with a syndrome. She has hypotonia (low muscle tone), significant developmental and learning delays, and apraxia (processing).
A year ago we branched out from the many years of traditional speech and occupational therapy and tried Therapeutic Riding. We have seen wonderful progress in the areas of balance and posture with an ever-increasing confidence and maturity level in her capability to control and communicate with her horse. Riding a horse provides a processing factor that can’t be duplicated, rehearsed or manipulated. The horse is constantly providing feedback that requires “quick thinking” on the part of the rider. It is this feedback that makes Therapeutic Riding so valuable for Alissa. She is being “worked” on so many fronts and all the while she thinks she is “just” riding a horse and loving every minute of it.
As a volunteer helping in the classes, I am truly blessed to be a part of the lives of all the adults and children who come to PPTRC. My life and the lives of Alissa’s two older brothers who also volunteer are enriched by the people we encounter. Everyone in the arena is able to let go of their daily struggles and let the magic of the horses and the relationships shared create an environment where miracles happen.
~ Diane, PPTRC Parent & Volunteer
BILL'S STORYAccording to his adopted mother Denette, “Wild” Bill is an amazing 32-year old with a contagious smile. He’s been a cowboy at heart ever since he fell in love with “Marvel the Mustang” from Mattel toys.
But there was a time when Denette feared that Bill would not even live yet alone walk or ride a horse.
Bill was born a perfectly healthy baby boy. When he came into Denette’s home four months later as a foster child, he was not expected to live. Abuse had taken its toll on the baby who weighed a mere six pounds. With loving care, Denette nursed Bill back to life, but she could not totally erase the Cerebral Palsy which resulted from his previous ill-treatment.
Today, Bill is a California transplant who loves his new home in Colorado Springs. Even though he was sad to leave his eight-year job at Disneyland, Bill now works at Safeway and says he will never leave Colorado. One thing that remains the same is that he is loved by co-workers and customers alike.
One of the highlights of Bill’s week is riding at Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center. In fact, he has received so much from riding that he gives back by volunteering at PPTRC after his hippotherapy sessions are done.
What hippotherapy (therapy that uses the movement of the horse) has done for Bill is improved his balance and increased his endurance making it easier for him to walk and work longer. It has also helped fulfill a life-long dream.
In Bill’s own words, “They call Disneyland the happiest place on earth, but I think the happiest place on earth is Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center. Thank you.”
DYLAN'S STORYI wanted to thank you so much for your recent and continued support with the Rider’s Support Fund for our son Dylan. We have faced many financial hardships due to medical bills for our son and a recent job loss. We wanted so badly for our son to continue riding and with the support of your fund, he was able to do so.
We are astounded and amazed at the difference PPTRC has made in our child. At just six years old, he has spent most of his life in some type of therapy. Although he was slowly progressing, we had concerns about his progression. He started Hippotherapy this past summer through PPTRC and I am happy to say that our lives have changed. PPTRC provided our son with the missing link and he is now progressing rapidly at home, school and therapy. He lives for Saturday morning when he can be with the horses. It is amazing to watch how he improves every week, both on and off horseback. When our son came to you at five years old, he never even drew a picture. His first…….. your horse Calvin, and of course, a little boy smiling from ear to ear! He is now a budding artist. As you can imagine, we are now advocates for PPTRC!!
Your organization is top notch, as are your volunteers. Everyone from office staff to barn volunteers cares about our child and his development. Your continued interest in Dylan means the world to our family. We look forward to each and every Saturday morning when our child is free……a boy and his horse, along with the best smile we see all week!
With Warm Regards,
Tiffany Jones & Family
THOMAS' STORYI want to share with you a testimonial story from Kathy Gray, mother of a PPTRC Rider. Their story was also highlighted in this years’ video presentation.
My son has been diagnosed with sensory integration disorder. He is also severely speech and language delayed, and has a possible auditory processing disorder. In addition he has several characteristics of autism, though he has not been formally diagnosed with autism.
When he was two and three years old, everyone told me “all kids develop at different rates, he will be fine” or “Einstein did not talk until he was four”. Well, when he turned four years old and still only knew a few words and only very simple sentences... I decided enough was enough…I was going to take him in to get evaluated.
They found out that as a four year old, he was at a two year old level of speech development. He started speech therapy once a week. While he showed some gains, he was often distractible, had a hard time focusing, and was often out of it by the end of the session.
His therapist recommended that he try hippotherapy (therapy on horseback) as a supplement to his weekly speech therapy sessions. He started with Angela. I was immediately amazed at how much more focused and attentive he was on the horse. His progress with speech increased dramatically. He quickly learned “on”, “under”, “behind”, “in front”.
One day Angela told me my son was doing so well, she was going to move on to function of objects. If you asked my son “what do you do with a fork” he would just repeat “fork”. He did not make the proper associations. My immediate thought was “oh boy…this should be a challenge for her.”
Well I was in complete shock when she returned to the side of the area and told me “he got them all right”. I honestly thought I misheard her. It was a huge breakthrough for him. On the way home I asked my son about function and he was able to demonstrate that he retained what he had learned on horseback.
I was truly amazed. I credit Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center and their Hippotherapy program for such a large part of the progress my son has made over this past year. I am not 100% sure why the therapy works, but I do know it works. Thank You PPTRC for offering such a terrific program.
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