Imagine the fear of watching your very small child on the back of a 1000 pound horse for the first time. Now, imagine your joy when you see him smiling and engaged in activities as he rides without fear! When he was 2 years old, his parents noticed that his speech development was not progressing in the same way as his peers. They searched for activities and therapies that would serve as stimulus to this delay and would also provide physical activity that would help with his balance as well as his self esteem. He started therapeutic horseback riding once a week and he loved it from the beginning. Now when he sees the horse, his attention is instantly improved and once he climbs into the saddle, his attention span seems unlimited. Also through riding he has realized animals are special friends. He has become a very self confident rider, always following instructions that are given to him. He also shows improvements in coordination, social skills, comprehension, and above all he has a lot of fun! Especially during trotting, when he gives us all a big, heartfelt and honest smile. After only a few months of riding, he now holds the reins and knows how to make the horse stop and go. Every Friday night is full of excitement for him because he knows when he wakes up, his parents are driving him to the riding center, where his horse, instructor and volunteer team are waiting for him to start the ''fun ride''...
Aren has a wonderful variety of skills but he also has some challenges with his coordination, balance and concentration. He has a passionate love for all animals, especially, cats, dogs and horses. He began riding about a year ago and thoroughly enjoys his time at Riders of Hope. His weekly riding lessons have been a great way for Aren to improve his coordination, balance and concentration while also making new friends, both two legged and four! Aren is able to groom and prepare his horse for his riding lesson with very little assistance. Because of the significant improvement in his ability to stay focused on his riding, he is able to independently control his horse and follow instructions during his entire 45 minute lesson. Of course, dispersed with his lectures on favorite subjects ranging from politics to little know animal facts that he shares with his ever patient instructor and volunteer team. Aren has progressed into an extremely talented rider as was demonstrated at his first dressage show at the end of May. He took home the Championship Trophy and left the barn with a huge smile on his face!