Tag Archives: Equestrian

Horseback Therapy Program in Danger of Eviction

Please help!

In Colfax, NC, there is a small organization that has a huge mission.  Horsepower Therapeutic Learning Center helps kids and adults with special needs with horseback therapy.  You can read more about them from their website here.

This past week, the Piedmont Saddle Club, who owns the land where Horsepower has a lease agreement has ordered them to clear the premises.  Please take a minute of your time to write the president, Mr. Ken Taffer (kentaffer@att.net), and ask him and the board to reconsider their position on eviction.

My daughter, Savannah, as many of you know, was born with special needs.  She was born with CHARGE syndrome, and part of that diagnosis is her low muscle tone.  Since she has been riding she has been able to sit up more easily and hold herself in an upright position.  She has even begun to pull up to tables to get things that she wants.

Savannah is also non-verbal.  Early on, she had an eight or nine word vocabulary, but after a two-month stay in the hospital and six weeks on a ventilator, she lost those words and has had very limited speech since.  One of the things they do in Horsepower is to have non-verbal children use other means to communicate with the horse.  She pats the horse’s neck to signal “Walk On!”  Since doing that in Horsepower, she has also been able to carry that over to me.  As I carry her, and she is ready to go, she will pat me on my shoulder or chest to “Walk On.”  This is huge for Savannah and her history.

Savannah gets so excited when she knows it is time to go ride her horse.  Her laughs and giggles can be heard throughout the arena where she rides because she enjoys the time so much.  As you can see from above, this is very helpful for Savannah and it would be a shame if she lost this valuable therapy because the board members of the Piedmont Saddle Club cannot come to some amicable arrangement to keep Horsepower there.

While I speak of Savannah, because she is my daughter, I have heard so many stories of other families whose children have been helped by this program.  One young girl, whose mom I met this past week, was unable to sit up by herself 14 weeks ago.  Now she is able to sit up on the horse unassisted.

The only things I ask people to do is to write a simple e-mail to Ken Taffer, above, and ask that he and the club reconsider their position and also to get other people you know to do the same..  If you can do more to help, great!  I believe that if the club can see the community support for the Horsepower program that they might stop the eviction process and work towards a reasonable solution for both parties.  Even if you don’t live in this area, letting the club know that people see what is happening will help.

Thanks for taking a moment to help out!

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