Hey everyone. My name is Keifer Gunn. I have been riding at the Glenoak Therapeutic Riding Center for over 10 years. I have loved it ever since. Charlene and all of the staff have become family to me. I love all of them with all my heart. This riding center is a place I am proud to call home.
Amber is 41 years old and has intellectual disabilities as well as physical challenges. She began equine therapy several months ago. The benefit and her progress has been remarkable.
The physical improvements have come quickly and include increased balance, better alignment, muscle strength, flexibility and “trust” in her body coordination. Amber’s attention span has improved with her ability to remember and follow multi-step directions. She can walk the horse to a given point, stop, lean over to place a ring on the pole and walk on.
The biggest blessing from her time with the horses is the pure enjoyment Amber experiences and her sense of accomplishment. She smiles from time we hit the front gate until we leave. She is excited about riding but also takes tremendous joy in preparing the horse- brushing, saddling and getting the bit on through her last act of hand feeding the horse carrots after the ride. Her immediate bond with horses is phenomenal.
Amber is very proud of her achievements as she fulfills her responsibilities for caring for the horse. Her confidence and self-esteem has increased with her ability. “Look at me” is a constant comment as she rides and ends sessions with an excited “I did good” affirmation. Equine therapy provides opportunities unlike any other activity for Amber.
My son Cory age 26yrs, has been doing therapeutic riding at Glenoak Therapeutic Riding Center for the past 4 1/2 years. This program has helped my son tremendously! Riding is his most favorite thing in this world to do. Cory is unable to communicate verbally but the smile he has on his face the entire time he is riding says it all ! As soon as we turn off the main road to go to the facility he recognizes where we are, and he starts laughing and rocking in his seat. He can't wait to get on his horse.
When he firsts gets on the horse you can see how tight his muscle are and the trouble he has with his balance. In just a matter of a few minutes you can see how his body starts relaxing and his balance improves and the biggest smile you have ever seen comes to his face. Not only does this program benefit my son physically it also provides tremendous joy for him. We are very grateful there is a program like this available to us and than God for the wonderful dedicated people that run this program and all the caring volunteers.