After almost three years with Therapy and Adaptive Riding (previously known as True Strides), Alayna Craven has become an experienced rider. She loves horses, riding, and wearing her boots, but nothing beats riding her horse companion, Glitterman, as fast as she can.
“Alayna loves it here,” said Amanda, Alayna’s mom. “All you have to say is, ‘You are going to see Glitterman,’ and she will even eat her dinner fast if she knows she is going to see him.” For Alayna, being at Therapy and Adaptive Riding for hippotherapy makes her feel like she is there to play, not to work.
“They are there to ride a horse, that’s playing,” said Amanda. “They have swords and you put rings on swords, and you play basketball on your horse. Those things just don’t seem like work, but there’s a reason why they are doing it that they just don’t realize.”
Over the past few years, the entire Craven family has connected through their mutual love of horses and horseback riding. Amanda and her husband Luke, along with their three children Victoria, Alayna, and Charles have each taken up the activity and now Alayna can ride alongside her siblings.
“She gets to do what everybody else at our house does,” said Amanda. “Tori rides and she’s been doing some horse shows, Charlie started doing horse shows too.” Alayna’s other riding companion at Therapy and Adaptive Riding is her dad, Luke. “He loves to ride, and it is a special bonding time for him and her. It’s something they get to do together, and he looks forward to it every week,” Amanda said.
“There are times when Donna or Shari will jump on the horse because they want to do certain things but they’ve also been working with Luke to show him to do those certain things.” Alayna couldn’t help but smile at every mention of riding, or of Glitterman. “When it comes to riding and seeing the joy she gets from it, it’s never something that we think twice about, ‘Oh we have to do this, it’s we get to do this and we are excited for this,’” said Amanda. “She just loves to ride. We love [Therapy and Adaptive Riding] and everybody there and what it means to us all.”