Testimonials

Gloria riding Boone at HHTLC

Horses and Horizons has a great program with a friendly staff of volunteers. Harvey and Elaine do an outstanding job of matching their well trained horses to their riders. Everyone goes that extra mile to make you feel like part of their family. The arena, grounds, and corral are well maintained. Then there are the days when we get to ride out of the corral and feed the fish at the pond. This is a bonus! There is nothing more gratifying than seeing these young children improve significantly in their health and well being. The benefits for me helps me with my balance and posture, builds my confidence, and is mentally refreshing by giving me a more positive outlook on life.

– Gloria T.

Stephanie riding Frosty at HHTLC

I love horses and all the volunteers at HHTLC. I also love being in the open area high up on my horse, Frosty. It's great to be looking down at people instead of always looking up from my wheel chair. I just wish I lived closer, because I love being there with my horse and all the pleasant people — not to mention that riding has helped my balance, coordination, posture, and self confidence!

– Stephanie Karmonick

Aidan at the HHTLC annual picnic

I would like to thank you for all you did for Aidan this year. I know he was trying at times, but you and Mr. Harvey did not give up. All of your volunteers are amazing! I wish to thank everyone who worked with Aidan this year. You have done wonders with him. He has learned that if he wants to go to HHTLC, he has to earn it by controlling his temper and taking care of his horse before and after his riding. I have seen him grow up this summer and your program has done wonders for him. He doesn't have any friends to play with at home, and to get him into your program with other children who have the same problems is amazing. Even for myself and Uncle Rick to get out with adults who are going through what we are is helpful.

Thank you very much.

– Aidan's Grandmother

Joey riding Caesar at HHTLC

"Joey has benefited from therapeutic horse back riding in many ways. His complete sense of self has grown. His head and trunk control have improved tremendously. He has a wonderful connection with his horse, Caesar. This was Joey's first year riding and from week one he would just rest his head on his pillow while riding Caesar. After about his 8th week, he began to really gain confidence, from then on, holding his head up and sitting tall and smiling on Caesar.

It's amazing to see the connection between the horse and it's rider and how similar we are. Therapeutic horse back riding has been an amazing experience. It's heartfelt how on Mondays when I tell Joey "you are going to go ride Caesar today" his eyes open wide and he has a great big smile and kicks his legs that you know the wonders of riding.

Elaine and Harvey are amazing people! They really take the time to tailor to every child's needs and the results show that. The volunteers are wonderful! They truly love what they do. I feel so blessed, and we are forever appreciative to Elaine and Harvey for giving Joey this opportunity. It has been such an incredible and rewarding experience! We cannot wait for spring to begin!"

– Tiffany Bistrek

Jazzie riding Frosty at HHTLC

Our daughter Jazell LOVES horses... so Horses & Horizons was a perfect fit as part of her therapy. Jazell has ADHD and ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) which makes it difficult for her to focus and stay on task. She looks forward to her "therapy" each week and is very focused on the lesson and "her" horse, Frosty. To her it's fun and a weekly horse lesson. To her family, its valuable therapy that helps her stay focused on the things that are important, like school and social skills. She is easily frustrated when learning a new task, but for some reason, the horses help her maintain her composure. Being on the horse has a calming effect on her. She's very proud of her horse accomplishments and tells everyone about her experience. We're very proud of her also and will continue to provide her horse therapy for many years to come.

– Sharon Praskac

Matthew building skills at HHTLC

The volunteers at Horses & Horizons are wonderful, and the lessons are well organized. Since beginning horseback riding, we have noticed many improvements. Matthew finally learned to ride his bike this summer, because of his improved balance and coordination! He also had the confidence to try the diving board at the pool!

– Elaine Jones

Emma riding Caesar at HHTLC

Emma just loves to ride Caesar. That much anyone can tell from the moment she hits the saddle! And what's not to love? She gets wonderful input from Caesar's gait which helps her to understand how her body should move as we work on increasing her ability to walk. She also receives proprioceptive (deep pressure to the joints) input when Caesar trots — which is Emma's favorite thing to do. Each summer Emma's walking improves when she is riding, of that we are convinced. It can physically be seen in her abilities. In addition to the physical aspects of therapeutic riding, Elaine, her instructor, works on solidifying Emma's communication system, PECS cards, which requires Emma to pick the "GO" card to make Caesar walk and the "TROT" card to make him trot. Again, a multi-faceted task as it requires her to attend, discriminate, physically select a card and interact with others … all goals in Emma's development.

What we love about it most, as parents, is that Emma is working and doesn't know it. Every other therapy she knows is therapy, but riding is just fun. We also love that the volunteers who come every week to help Emma and so many other children do it because they love it too. I will never cease to be amazed by the generosity of both the Smiths and all the volunteers who graciously take time out of their lives to make ours better. Awesome, just awesome — we are forever grateful.

– Lynn Elko

Kara riding Caesar at HHTLC

Our daughter, Kara has benefited from therapeutic horseback riding in several ways. She loves animals and is very motivated to spend precious time riding Caesar. She only verbalizes a few words but manages to speak the command "On" in her own way to get Caesar moving. Her posture is amazing while riding the horse and her core body muscles have become stronger with each riding session. The muscle tone in her legs has gotten stronger and it has been exciting to see Kara begin scooting around on the floor as a method of independent movement, something she stopped doing when she was about 2 years old. She is also able to take steps with a great deal of assistance as her legs continue to get stronger. She recently began nodding her head "yes" and "no" as a way to communicate which is another new skill that we feel we can attribute to her riding success. Most of all, she is very proud when we share the fun stories of each lesson with her family and friends. The volunteers that help make this happen are extremely patient and caring and share in the enthusiasm of each of the kids. We are grateful for this opportunity for Kara and will continue this amazing therapy that is so much fun.

– Katrina and Frank Cwitkowitz

Jessica shows off the prize and ribbon she won riding Willie in an HHTLC fun show

Jessica, our daughter, was born with Pervasive Developmental Delay, a neurological condition that causes delays in multiple areas of development. She had been receiving speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy from the time she was twelve months old. Even with all these therapies, she still had problems with her balance and coordination. At three years of age, Jessica couldn't walk more than a few steps before she would fall.

We enrolled Jessica in Head Start, and they went on a field trip to HHTLC We had never heard of equine therapy, so we decided to go with her. We weren't sure what to expect or how she would react to all the sights, sounds, people, and of course the horses. Jessica was nervous at first, but once she got in the saddle and started moving, she loved it!! It was a great day, and we enrolled her in the riding program right away. After her first 8 week session, Jessica was walking much better and for longer distances. By the end of her third session at HHTLC, she was running!! Her fine motor skills improved also, and because of the combination of therapies during lessons she has improved in multiple areas. The interaction with all the volunteers, parents, and other riders also has helped with Jessica's social skills.

The volunteers are fantastic, very patient and caring. They share in the excitement as Jessica learns new things and they encourage her to keep trying. Harvey and Elaine are the Best! They work with each child to make sure they get the most beneficial therapy, tailored to their unique needs. We really can't express how much they have helped our daughter.

Jessica loves to tell everyone about her horse, "Willie". It's great when she has such a good time that she doesn't realize she's doing therapy. We encourage everyone to call HHTLC And find out for themselves the benefits of such a wonderful program.

– Carol and Bill Boyle

Sydney's amazing transformation

It is amazing how strong Sydney is now just from 3 sessions of horse therapy. We have had doctors and therapists give up on Sydney over the last 4 years. I am so glad we have found Horses and Horizons. Seeing Sydney smile and have fun during her lessons is priceless to watch after seeing everything she has gone through. We will never lose hope, and we will find an answer to Sydney's condition. Special people have come into our lives as we travel this unexpected journey. Everyone involved in Sydney's lessons will never be forgotten. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for everything you have done!

– The Marko Family

Devino is overcoming fears riding Peppy

Devino enjoyed the horse riding so much. It really helped him overcome his fear of animals. Your volunteers were very caring, and I always felt safe letting Devino ride.

– Emily Finer