Winner Update: Exceptional Equestrians

Exceptional Equestrians right now serves over 100 families per week with the horses, and our services are funded over 60% by donations from groups like yours. Hippotherapy is something that I’ve been doing. Hippotherapy means using a horse to treat someone with a physical, cognitive, or communication disability. I am the executive director of Exceptional Equestrians, but I’m also the primary clinician. I’ve been doing this for over 25 years, and I can tell you that it is one of the most effective tools that I’ve ever seen work with individuals. The movement of the horse stimulates walking for you and I. It’s rhythmic, for any of you who have ever ridden a horse, you know that your body moves very rhythmically, and there’s a lot of fluidity, and you’re moving through space. Children and adults who have disabilities don’t ever get to experience that, even if they walk and they walk with a walker, it’s take a step, drag my walker, take a step, drag my walker. If they have a cane, it’s take a step, but I’m bearing weight on my cane. It’s never fluid and symmetric. When they’re on the horse, they feel movement and freedom just like you and I, just like their peers. We’re giving them a lot more than the range of motion that we’re building, and the strength that we’re building, and the control. We’re giving them a sense of self esteem and freedom, and I can’t tell you how important that is. We take it for granted, but the clients that we work with, this is the one place that they get to move through space and feel free, and not be encumbered by whatever hindrance their body is imposing upon them. I want to thank you on their behalf for making it possible for us to provide these services to more and more families every day.


Lisa Kafka
Thoroughbred Therapy

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