Therapeutic Riding | Ride to Fly | Rancho Palos Verdes

I’m working on a story about therapeutic riding for our ‘health and fitness’ issue of Beach Magazine, and I’m having trouble editing 30 pictures down to 10. I think I’m going to have to cut one of my favorite images out of the story  (my friends and I call it ‘killing puppies’)… so I wanted to share my favorite image of the day here.

Ryan Sinclair, 9, has been coming to Ride to Fly since he was three. “Every time he comes we see a change,” said his mother. “Whether he’s steadier on his feet, or there’s more vocalization. Across all dimensions it makes a difference.” Since beginning the program Sinclair has started to give the horses verbal instructions. “We say ‘walk on’ and ‘whoa’- If they can get a vowel out, I will accept any verbalization that suggests that,” said instructor Lea Anthony.  “…It’s exciting to see how far the can go.”

Ryan Sinclair, 9, has been coming to Ride to Fly since he was three. “Every time he comes we see a change,” said his mother. “Whether he’s steadier on his feet, or there’s more vocalization. Across all dimensions it makes a difference.” Since beginning the program Sinclair has started to give the horses verbal instructions. “We say ‘walk on’ and ‘whoa’- If they can get a vowel out, I will accept any verbalization that suggests that,” said instructor Lea Anthony. “…It’s exciting to see how far the can go.”

Almost 20 years ago two friends went out for coffee. They were both horsewomen and one of the ladies had a child with special needs. She wanted to pass on her love of horses to her son, but didn’t know how to start. They brainstormed ideas and soon a group of Rancho Palos Verdes mothers put together a program to teach horsemanship to people otherwise unable to participate. Later in the year their afternoon of coffee turned into the South Bay’s only therapeutic riding program.

“Horses are quiet and non-judgmental- it’s a safe place for them,” said instructor Lea Anthony. “These kids get judged everyday in their lives… These horses do what they want to do.”

Now, the program that is located in the hills of Rancho Palos Verdes, has helped hundreds of children and adults succeed in ways they never imagined possible.

“There’s this little tiny person and this big horse is doing what they ask,” said Anthony. “It gives empowerment to individuals that have virtually no power in their lives. It gives them something that they feel good and positive about and it radiates to other parts of their life. They get better at school and it goes out like a ripple effect.”

Visit http://www.ridetofly.com for more information.

This photo had to go too... but I still like it.

This photo had to go too… but I still like it.

 

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