In the Saddle: Experiencing Freedom

maryn and teri on horse at therapy and adaptive riding

Week after week, Maryn looks forward to spending time at her favorite place – in the saddle at True Friends Therapy and Adaptive Riding program.

See Maryn in action: Maryn’s Story

“We don’t miss sessions,” her mother Teri shared with a chuckle. “It doesn’t go over well with my daughter if we miss.”
Maryn has been participating in therapy and adaptive riding for 14 years and has been coming to True Friends Therapy and Adaptive Riding since the program started back in 2015.

Shari Mangas, Director of Therapy and Adaptive Riding, shared that Maryn’s “core strength, head control, and flexibility have all improved tremendously as a result of the occupational therapy utilizing horses”. Even though she’s working hard during her sessions, Maryn has so much fun. Over the years, she has fallen in love with the horses and has built friendships with staff and other participants.

“I think one of the things about this program that we have appreciated most is when she’s on that horse, she’s at equal grounds with her peers,” Teri said. “So, it doesn’t matter if you can talk or not talk, walk, or not walk – we can adapt. This was probably one of the first activities she was able to do at the same level as her peers, and experience that freedom.”

True Friends Therapy and Adaptive Riding has not only provided Maryn with an opportunity to engage with peers and receive occupational therapy, but it has also provided a shared experience between her and her mother.

Teri smiled as she said, “I think Maryn and I would both say that our time riding together is our favorite time of the week.”

The True Friends Therapy and Adaptive Riding program, formerly known as True Strides, provides occupational therapy while riding a horse through hippotherapy, therapeutic riding, and other services. Learn more about Therapy and Adaptive Riding here.

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