Ruth Osborn, Pegasus Volunteer
There are days like yesterday when getting up to volunteer at Pegasus is not an attractive proposition. It was dark, cold, rainy and snowy. And this is spring! And then the sun came out- at least in the barn!
Ben (name has been changed) arrived and mounted Timber as usual and we started to ride. Nothing unusual unless you count that 3 years ago Ben was on a therapy pad and hunched over. He whispered when he spoke and took little or no personal responsibility for his riding. Since then, he's graduated to a western saddle, and has gotten much greater core strength. He's gotten a louder voice and no longer whispers. Lately he's been using clip on reigns to steer the horse while still having the horse handler in charge of the horse.
Yesterday, was so very different. Ben took charge of counting cadence for his walk halts, and even joked with us while doing so. Folks in the barn heard his voice. His posture was remarkably good, and he kept it with few reminders. Later in the lesson he was given reins and he steered the horse WITHOUT A HORSE HANDLER. He did walk halts and steered through the cones by himself. To say what I saw as I stood there lead rope in hand and not needed for this part of the lesson, was miraculous is not an understatement. I was awed to witness this event. ( Also wished we'd had a camera to preserve it for posterity!) This was definitely not the "pony rides" of old. Ben was so justifiably proud of his accomplishment and we were all thrilled for him. I think even Timber was proud of his part in the drama as he went into his stall for a well deserved snack.
Yes, it was definitely a sunny, warm spring day IN the arena yesterday, and it was one of the many days when I realize why I get us and go to Pegasus. I know as a volunteer I get so much more from this wonderful program that the clients do. (That's a secret- don't tell the clients!) It's a warm glow and a satisfaction that money could never buy, and that has to be experienced to be understood.