Making a Difference ...
Bao’s mom writes:
Bao was born with a debilitating disease called tuberous sclerosis. He had hundreds of seizures a day and was on seven different medications at one time to no avail. He never crawled. He didn’t walk until he was two, didn’t run until he was four, and couldn’t jump until he was eight. His quality of life was non-existent until he had his fourth and final brain surgery. The last surgery left him temporarily paralyzed on his left side for almost a year, but it also gave him a new lease on life. Bao started at Tara’s Chance from the very beginning. He absolutely loves riding every week. He was very weak when he first started, but now he is so much stronger and his stamina is quite impressive. Cindy is a miracle worker. She is firm yet kind. Tim is there to entertain and spoil the kids. Tara’s Chance embodies dedication and professionalism. We are all one big happy family. The smiles on the children’s faces say it all!
Gabriel’s Dad writes:
Gabriel has been attending Tara’s Chance for two years, and we’ve found the experience to be phenomenal. Tara’s Chance is a place that one can easily find inspiration. A place where riders are seen as able, and not judged for their differences.
For the last two years, our son Gabe, a rambunctious and stubborn 11 year old, with Down Syndrome who is nonverbal, has had the opportunity to be a part of the magic that is Tara’s Chance. In that time, we have seen Gabe grow from a scared and timid rider into a confident preteen. He is able to perform on the horse in ways we could have never imagined, gaining in enthusiasm and bravery with each new achievement —and there are always new achievements.
Through this process, his confidence has grown from beyond the confines of the stables, to his everyday life. He is more confident, braver, and vocal than ever. Additionally, we have seen gains in his overall coordination, core strength, and ability to navigate his environment in a meaningful way. (And he’s of course still healthily rambunctious and stubborn when he feels he needs to be).
If you ask Gabe what has favorite day of the week is, he will —undoubtedly— sign “horse”. The best day of Gabe’s week, is the day he gets to ride. This is in no small part to the kind and caring staff at Tara’s Chance, their patience, and their willingness to embrace an ethos of inclusivity, empathy, and limitless opportunities for our families.
- Anthony A.
Isabella’s mom writes:
Isabella is 10 years old and has been riding with Tara’s Chance for over 5 years. She has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which means she can’t build new muscles. SMA causes complications with her energy, eating, breathing and bone health. When she started riding at Tara’s Chance, she only had enough strength to ride for 30 seconds. She also needed full support from her side walkers and a special saddle to help her stay sitting up on the horse. Through the patience and determination of Cindy and her team she is now riding for a full 30-minute session completely unsupported! Since SMA is a progressive disease medically she shouldn’t get stronger but riding on the horse is a gentle, efficient and fun way to help her strengthen her little muscles and has helped her defy doctor’s predictions. When I see how healthy she is and how strong she has gotten I know it is largely due to horse therapy. If we hadn't started this therapy, I know she would not be as strong or healthy as she is today. I am so grateful for Tara’s Chance. It is rare to find people who care about your child’s progress as much as you do. That’s what I have found here at Tara’s Chance.
- Jaclyn D.