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.
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.
Bobby is a 15 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 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 great friends makes Brave Meadows a big family.
Bobby's experience at Brave Meadows has helped to mold him into a confident, caring, self-motivated young man. This year, Bobby and two other riders are participating in the Special Olympics for the first time. It is going to be an incredible experience for them.