"The best thing that has happened to Buddy is finding Brave Meadows. Shannon and all the volunteers are very special people with a passion for helping children and adults like Buddy with special needs learn independence and care for the horses with therapy. He gets excited and does his "happy dance" when he knows it's Saturday - horse riding day. Buddy gives his horse friend, Ranger, a pep talk before they saddle up. We are so thankful for everyone at Brave Meadows."
"Bobby is a 19 year old Putnam County High School Student with Spina Bifida. He has been riding at Brave Meadows since he was 6 years old. He and Chocolate Chips or Chief, the two wonder pony heroes make a great riding team every Saturday. Bobby can be seen grooming Chips, feeding Chips, filling watering troughs and enjoying all of the volunteer's company. Brave Meadows is so much more than about learning to balance on the horse and ride. The wonderful socialization with lifelong friends makes Brave Meadows a big family.
In 2014, Bobby had a medical crisis that left him needing to learn to move, talk, etc. all over. Riding horses positively impacted Bobby in relearning what he had lost during the medical crisis. Everyone at Brave Meadows knew Bobby so well that he felt welcome and normal when he was around all of the volunteers, horses, and Shannon.
Bobby's life at Brave Meadows has helped to mold him into a confident, caring, self-motivated young man. Bobby has participated in the Special Olympics Equestrian Competition for two years and hopes to go with his teammates again soon. The incredible experience of participating in the GA Olympics has been so positive for Bobby, his teammates, and the horses.
This year, with the many challenges of Covid 19 on the special needs population, horseback riding is more important then ever. It is an outdoor time with a minimal contact with others but socializing occurs none the less, with horses and peoples."
"Taylor is a 9 year old that attends Gray Elementary School. He has been riding for 11 months at Brave Meadows. He is autistic, has sensory processing, and ODD. When Taylor first started riding Sherlock - he would groom and ride for 5 minutes. Over the course of time we increased his riding time. Then, in July, Mrs. Shannon started talking about making a team for Special Olympics. We said, "We're in!" From July to September Taylor started riding Chief and worked super hard learning patterns and how to show his horse.
He has come so far that he now will ride for 45 mins to an hour. He has learned how to trot and control the horse on his own while having fun playing basketball. We are so proud of how he has finally found something that he enjoys and loves to go do with other friends. Not only is this good for his muscles, but it has helped him with his social skills."
Shannon Patrick is my cousin and she makes me so proud! My entire extended family has a special place in our hearts for children and adults with special needs. I believe it all stems from being raised with a family member with Down Syndrome. Marc will never understand the impact that he has on all of us. He has taught us so much love and compassion for others. Please watch this video-it’s so touching to me...not only because it’s my cousin’s therapeutic riding facility, but of that deep compassion in helping others and her love of horses.