Monday, June 27, 2016

Health through a Horse

I talked more about it back (here) but we believe that mental health is just as important as physical health. And while I'll never know (this side of Heaven) why God chose Scott and I to parent two daughters who both struggle DAILY; one with physical health and one with mental health, we do know that our hearts are stronger, more compassionate, and we are somehow (through tears some days) grateful that those two little girls are ours. Grateful for the lessons and the challenges; grateful for the joy and the love; grateful for the ups and the downs and the trust God has given us as we hold on (fiercely some days) to His Word, His church, His love as we walk through life with each other.

Recently Anna started Horseback riding lessons at a "Therapeutic Riding Center". It's not really about learning to ride a horse. That's just the wonderful bonus. It's about trust and a 'way in' to deal with other issues. (and so much more that I can't even explain in this space and time)

Sometimes Anna's issues are so deep that close family doesn't even seem to notice. I can see her spirit crumble in a room filled with people that love her. I can see her gripping fear rise up in her own birthday party. And I can see her freeze in terror while conversation goes on. I can glance at Scott (and even little Abigail now) who is watching this 'unseen' happen. And we know what to do to help. When everyone leaves we can help her regulate herself.

But we can't always be there and Anna needs help with self regulation and sensory issues.

In one therapy lesson Anna went from this



to this....



and that sweet 27 year old Tory horse I could just about kiss you!


  1. I'm so glad that Anna has found something that she loves and that is helping her. Coincidentally enough I too, love riding horses. I recently got back from a summer camp where I worked with them for an entire month! :)

  2. Love this! Truly. So happy for Anna that she will experience this "therapy". You see, my Ester volunteered one summer at a horse therapy ranch. Her job was to muck the stalls and she LOVED it because she knew how special those animals were to the riders :) In fact, she has talked about running one of these ranches someday. Keep us posted :)

  3. Bless her heart! Animal are truly healing in so many ways. :-)