Hello. My name is Nancy Elder. I have been around horses all my life. My parents and grandparents
always had horses. With this opportunity, I have developed a special bond with horses, My horses are just not any horses...they are my children
Do you remember as a child wanting a pony or horse? Why? Horses are very calming. Just as with any pet, when you get stressed you reach for your best friend
whether it is a dog, cat, bird or horse.
Over the years I have watched how horses interact with special children and adults.
I have seen the difference in the walking, talking and even social skills that this interaction can bring.
Some adults have even learned to trust again.
I have been involved in the therapeutic riding program since 1989 and have met and helped
so many special needs children and adults and hope to help many more in the future.
Once you see the smile on a child's face and kow that you helped put it there,it is very heartwarming,and you know you have made a difference in someone's life.
I would like to welcome you to come out to our stables. Besides horses , I also have chickens, geese, ducks and a pot bellied pig that are all part of the program.
WHAT IS THERAPEUTIC RIDING?
Therapeutic riding is the use of movement of the horse and the application of the principles involved in riding and
horsemanship to enhance the rider's quality of life. The particular goals and the techiques
used to achieve these goals will differ with each student according to their specific
disability, injury, illness or trauma. Along with the physical part of the therapy; mental,
social, educational and behavioral objectives will be incorporated into the lesson plan.
It is the three-dimensional rhytmical motion of a horse that stimulates and works the muscles of the rider.
Forming a bond with a large animal can offer a tremendous sense of freedom and independemce
to a disabled individualand can promote feelings of trust and self worth. Exercises or tasks
that would be considered dreary or a chore in any other setting, become fun and gamelike when they are part
of a riding lesson. In fact, there are numerous case histories and increasing numbers of research articles
that have documented disabled riders gaining the ability to walk, nonverbal students speaking their first words,
emotionally disabled children gaining the ability to trust and to interact with others and
children with learning disabilities showing marked improvement in school, all due to
their participation in therapeutic riding programs.
Therapeutic riding can be divided into 3 categories. Centers may offer one or more of these approaches,
or an integration of all 3.
*RECREATIONAL/SPORT (e.g. trail riding, driving, vaulting and competition)
*EDUCATIONAL (emphasis on educational,behavioral, social or emotional growth)
*MEDICAL (the use of therapists or psychologists as an integral part of this program;
hippotherapy is a special category within this division in which specially trained physical or occupational therapists take part in the lessons.)
Therapeutic riding is not yet covered by health insurance, so until this type of program is recognized by the health insurance community,
the children and we here at Crosswinds Stablesare asking for your help. Through your donations
and sponsorships you will be helping us keep the costs affordable for the families who need our services.
Donations and sponsorships will go to the children and the horses that keep the smiles on the faces of the children.
Hello, my name is Brenda Elder. I have a son who was diagnosed with ADHD.
Through his therapeutic riding sessions at Healing Winds, he has learned how to ride.
These sessions have also given him better social skills and better control over his
At age 4 my mother and father bought me my first horse. I was involved
in 4-H programs for 10 yrs. After 4-H I started giving lessons to other children
and 4-H students.
In 1997, I started working with my mother (Nancy Elder) in her therapeutic
riding programs. It was at that time I learned how important this type of program is to children
and adults with special needs. Every student I have looks forward to their next session.
working with these special children and adults is what has made my experience at
Healing Winds so remarkable.
Along with each session, the students have the opportunity to groom and help saddle the horses.
While they are riding, the students are doing exercises and following small directions.
After the session has been completed, they again can help brush the horse. The
students have the opportunity to interact with our barn members.
Thank you for your time and interest. We hope you will become
a part of our family soon.
I SAW A CHILD
I saw a child who could not walk,
Sit on a horse, laugh and talk
Then ride it through a field of daisies
And yet, he could not walk unaided.
I saw a child, no legs before,
Sit on a horse and make it go
Through woods of green
And places he had never been
To sit and stare
Except from a chair
I saw a child who could only crawl
Mount a horse and sit up tall
Put it through degrees and paces
And laugh at the wonder in our faces
I saw a child botn into strife
Take up and hold the reins of life
And that same child was heard to say,
Thank God for showing me the way.
~John Anthony Davis~
The above poem was given to me by Blayne, One of our special kids. Thank you Blayne.