As a side-walker for my daughter Rebecca I’m able to watch her ride Liam on a weekly basis and each time she rides, I am filled with such gratitude! I’m thankful for the joy of watching Rebecca’s smile as she towers above me mounted on such a grand horse. I’m so grateful for all the staff and volunteers at Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association who make it possible for Rebecca to participate. I am extremely appreciative of all the individuals, businesses and organizations that support PRTRA through their financial contributions and donations. But I’m most grateful for Liam.
Liam is a magnificent horse to look at, but it’s his spirit that dazzles me the most. Walking beside him, it would be easy to be intimidated by his size and strength as he carries my precious daughter on his back. But his gentle presence is incredibly calming and he makes it possible for me to relax and enjoy Rebecca’s experience.
Rebecca does not use words to communicate, but her pleasure is obvious from her smiles and laughter when she rides Liam. Due to the nature of her disability, Rebecca can often seem “lost” and disconnected from what is happening around her. When she is riding Liam she is calm, very focused and aware. She has become such a confident rider now that she often looks around, appearing to take in the beauty of the trees along the trail. There are very few physical activities Rebecca is able or willing to
participate in. Her physical position on Liam and her body’s motions throughout the ride give her opportunities for movement she would not have in any other area of her life.
Without Liam, I’m not sure Rebecca would be able to ride. What a gift to be able to have this experience in my daughter’s life.
PRTRA has seven “equine therapists” who are the backbone of our therapy program. These horses are chosen for their gentle characteristics and tolerance for the work they are doing. They are a big part of our program and must be carefully cared for to ensure we can continue to provide our important service to the community. If you would like to donate towards the care of these special horses, please click above.