“Horses are sensitive, majestic creatures, and seem to truly understand what the person truly needs.“
“It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and time to take a break from the bad news (not even going to there) that rains down upon our American equines. Time to catch our breath, wipe our brow and embrace all those who diligently fight beside us to further the future welfare and safety of our horses, donkeys, burros and mules. I had planned to write a wrap-up of the past week’s events but think, instead, that I will take a dose of our own medicine and call it a wrap. Thanks to all of you for what you do to benefit our equines both domestic and wild…you are the voice of the voiceless and very precious, indeed! Be safe!” ~ R.T.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — It’s more than just a horse ride for the community at the Colorado Springs Therapeutic Riding Center. The therapeutic riding center is about fostering relationships, boosting confidence, and creating life-long friendships for patients and their horses.
For one Colorado Springs family, the center has truly impacted and touched their lives. Their son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism at an early age. Michael’s dad, who served in the army was also deployed to Afghanistan, and this triggered a lot of anger for Michael. He wasn’t talking and needed an outlet to channel his emotions.
That’s when his mom, Karen Fetters, discovered the Colorado Springs Therapeutic Riding Center and what it offers to its patients. Michael began riding horses and working with therapists at the center to help him develop his cognitive and social skills. Everyday Michael was improving. He began to socialize with those around him, and through his friendship with his favorite horse, Michael changed for the better.
Deanna Shrewsbury, an equine assistance psychotherapist, pointed out the powerful human and horse interaction.
“When you’re in a relationship with a very large animal, it forces you to learn the importance of trust and how to problem solve verbally and creatively,” Shrewsbury said. ”Horses are sensitive, majestic creatures, and seem to truly understand what the person truly needs. They just want you to enjoy the moment with them.”
Michael’s family said horse therapy has helped them cope through difficult times in their lives, such as Michael’s autism and his father’s deployment overseas. Michael’s dad was also recently diagnosed with mutiple-schlorosis.
Ultimately, through the support system offered from the horses and equine staff at the Colorado Springs Therapeutic Riding Center, Michael has learned coping mechanisms, developed healthy relationships, and benefited from this life-changing experience.