Rider Spotlight: Daniel
Daniel is our 12 year old with Down Syndrome. We came to Promise Ranch with high hopes of Daniel increasing his large motor activity, and he has benefitted so far beyond our initial hopes. He loves horses and was hesitant at first, but the staff was encouraging and patient and now he can’t wait to be at the ranch and to see the horses. We have seen great strides in many areas. While his balance is greatly improved in class, we see how that has helped him in general with running, playing, stairs, and much more. We also see the improvement in his core strength which has helped his posture and general activities. He has even improved his speech as he has learned to communicate effectively with the horse and therapist. Finally, he has built tremendous confidence on the horse, which is displayed in other settings. We are grateful to Promise Ranch and their tremendous programs!
Rider Spotlight: Sarah
Sarah’s parents told us, “Sarah LOVES going to Promise. She gets up on Saturday and puts on all of her horse gear so she can go ride her horse, Lucky. She was up so early to go there this weekend that we had trouble getting her to understand that we still had to wait 2.5 hours before we could leave! With her blue sweatshirt on, you can’t see the horse shirt that she’s wearing, and her pink boots are covering her horse socks. She was so happy that her new horse riding gloves came this week. We’ve tried several other hippotherapy options and they weren’t on the same level as Promise. I’m so happy we tried one more before giving up.”
The Staff at Promise Ranch have been amazing to work with. They have been flexible to our schedule, kind and patient to my son, Damon, and have an amazing amount of knowledge about horses and riding. Damon is afraid to do most anything that is new and outside of his comfort zone.
Horse riding has been something that he, at times, has not wanted to do. What I have been impressed with is that when we get Damon at the ranch and on the horse, although he is fearful at first, he remembers he can do this. His instructors really help him to push past his fears, learn the proper techniques and his confidence grows. When he is finished with his lesson, he always leaves happy and feels he accomplished something that was hard for him.
My 9-year-old daughter suffers from social anxiety and started riding at Promise Ranch 15 months ago. Her experience has been extremely beneficial. Riding “her” horses at Promise Ranch has allowed my daughter to gain confidence in social interactions with intructors, volunteers and other riders, while participating in an activity she loves. Also, she is learning about the benefits of exhibiting assertive communication with respect while riding, as she has to control and manuever the horse through walking, trotting, stopping, backing up, reining and riding through various obstacles. I have seen improvement in my daughter’s human-to-human communication that I believe are a direct result of her human-to-horse communication, as the bond and interaction with her horses is safe, non-judgemental, and fun! Combined with counseling, her education and healthcare, I consider therapuetic riding as an integral part of my daughter’s development. Thank you to Promise Ranch for this amazing service.”
Julie Seabrook, Parker, CO
My daughter Amy has cerebral palsy, is non-verbal, and drives a power wheelchair. She rides year-round at Promise Ranch. Nothing benefits her body more than therapeutic horse riding at Promise Ranch!
Horseback riding for Amy is one of the most fun, stimulating, and physically beneficial activities that she participates in. What Amy can do on horseback has actually become the basis for the recommendations made by her orthopedic specialists with regards to surgeries, physical therapies, and botox injections. My husband Rich has taken several videos of Amy’s success on horseback. The doctors are so amazed, that they prescribe procedures based on Amy maintaining the proper leg strength and flexibility and splay for her continued success on horseback. She looks forward to every Wednesday, when she sees her horse, her instructors, her lead and side walkers, and off she goes.
We are constantly trying to find ways to get Amy out of her chair and to make her body as active as possible. At horse therapy Amy starts a session with very high tone and tightness. After she and her horse warm up to 3 or 4 laps around the arena, you can actually see her legs relax and lengthen. Very soon it is necessary for the instructor to lengthen her stirrups to accommodate her longer, relaxed legs. Her posture becomes totally upright. By the middle of the session she is actually strong and balanced and confident enough to ride completely independently – that is, side walkers are hands off at the ready, lead walker often removes the lead rope, and Amy is steering and controlling her horse all by herself! What a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem this is for her! People are amazed. She has been in many Promise Ranch horse shows. People comment that “in the saddle Amy looks like any able-bodied, accomplished rider”.
She has developed bonds and friendships at Promise Ranch like no other. Amy has ridden therapeutically since she was 22 months at various places in town and out. For two years we drove her to the NSCD Horse Program (National Sports Center for the Disabled) in Winter Park. Nothing has compared to the training and exercise and therapy that she gets at Promise Ranch.
Dear Promise Ranch,
Tyler has been riding with promise ranch therapeutic riding center for about a year now. He has grown very excited to come see his horses, sky and Cinnamon, as well as his instructor Miss Sharon, and her helpers. He has been recognized for getting the sensory inputs he needs as and also increase social awareness, improved interactions and direction taking from people while on horseback as well as improving core strength and crossing midline ability. These are just some of the improvements that have been noticeable over the past year. There are many rewarding behaviors that have come from our therapeutic riding/hippo-therapy sessions, more than I am able to process really. For me, I can tell you this is the only service that Tyler gets that recognizes what he CAN do and not what he needs to improve. As a mother struggling with his autism and sensory processing issues for 4 years now, I can’t tell you how amazing it is to hear how well he did or watch the big smiles and laughter come from him as he is riding and listening. I hope you are able to operate for a very long time at your facility as it is wonderful what you provide not only to my son but others as well.
Thanks so much for your dedication to our loved ones’ care,
We are so grateful to Promise Ranch for the services they’ve provided to our 12 year old son with autism. He’s been riding here for about 3 years and it has been a wonderful experience to date… we hope to continue for many years to come. Hippotherapy has helped in many ways, including increased language, decreased self-stimulatory behavior, increased balance, core strength, direction following, and just calms him down in general. I hope this therapy can be made available to any child that needs it!
I am writing to tell you about my son Braeden, who has autism. Braeden is a high functioning autistic, he can talk and communicate with others. It also means that people can’t always tell he has problems with change in his routine, having people touching him, having to talk to him. Braeden does not have many friends and is usually too anxious to leave the house. His therapist suggested we try horseback riding as way to help with his muscle development and communication. We found the Promise Ranch and have plans to never leave. Braeden is a different child while he is at the barn, whether he is riding or just talking to the horses he is happy. He loves everything about the horses and thinks of them as his friends. The instructors and volunteers are able to get Braeden engaged in conversations while he is grooming and riding, and they are very supportive if all he wants to do is talk about Legos.
What the Promise Ranch does is more than words can describe, they create an environment where there is no judgement, where a child can just be a child. Braeden doesn’t have to worry if he can’t ride a bike, tie his shoes, read a book or many other difficulties he faces every day. At the barn he is just Braeden, the kid who loves horses and just wants to trot without help. The horses don’t care as long as they are loved, I have yet to see a child that doesn’t love them.
The final thing that I would like to say about the Promise Ranch is that they have scholarships in place to help out with the cost of riding therapy. Getting our son diagnosed and treated has been a financial burden. Our insurance would only cover certain tests and treatments so the rest we had to pay out of pocket. We maxed out our credit cards paying the bills and still owe hospitals and doctors more. Being able to give Braeden something so wonderful and be able to afford it is the best gift we could have ever received. When you are the parent of a special needs child you expect to face challenges, but to receive a gift as generous as the Promise Ranch gave us, stays with you forever.
Please help them so they can continue to help not just our son, but all of the people and horses involved.
Jennifer, Darrin and Braeden
My daughter Kelsey has benefited immensely from the Therapeutic riding scholarships provided by Promise Ranch. She is continually improving her posture, motor coordination and strength.
Unfortunately, our insurance agency has decided that her condition of low muscle tone, lack of coordination and speech language impairment was developmental and will not provide coverage for any speech, physical or occupational therapies. Over the years, the monies we have received from the Douglas Mill Levy program have enabled and allowed her to receive occupational therapy at Promise Ranch. The horses are gentle and calm and have played a major role in her becoming more social and happy. The instructors are very patient and dedicated and believe in the practice of Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding.
Kelsey is developing trust in the horses and her instructors. She enjoys her therapy at Promise Ranch and we’ve seen a positive impact on her personality and behavior.
Please continue to support Promise Ranch in their mission.
Our son, who is 9 years old and has Dravet syndrome, has been a recipient of a grant for therapeutic riding sessions in the past. During a time when he was having so many seizures that he often lost the ability to walk or eat for days, when medical expenses were so high and hospital stays so frequent that there was no money or time for “extras,” we were so fortunate to be able to continue with his riding. When he couldn’t hold a fork, he could still express pride about riding his horse, and thanks to the core strength and occupational therapy he received from Promise Ranch, he was able to regain almost all of the skills he lost. Promise Ranch is a wonderful organization for families struggling to keep their disabled children active in the community, and I hope you’ll consider them as a recipient of your grant funds in the future!
Nicole (mom to Aiden)
I just want to share that Promise Ranch is the best place I ever been. I have 2 kids with autism and when I started taking both kids. I wanted same day same hours for both and they were great with my kids. They made a space for both kids. They took their time to observe and to listen to both of my kiddos. They were very patient with them I need to thank Sharon and Carol they are great. I wouldn’t change that place in the world.