I want to tell you a little story about a 9 year old girl who not only fell in love with horses, but has personally benefited from a lifetime bond she has created with them. My daughter, at the age of 3 1/2 was identified with a gross motor delay. Her physical therapist recommended therapeutic riding. We had tried everything else, and I mean everything...but the moment we put her on a horse we saw a spark. For a child who was fearful of a balance beam or even a playground slide, this tiny girl suddenly beaming on a giant horse blew my mind.
She thrived while we watched both her confidence and her core grow stronger. Improved motor planning, kinesthetic awareness and proprioception were just some of the goals she was accomplishing while learning horsemanship skills. We haven't looked back. At 9 she has caught up with her peers but continues lessons to foster her passion and conitnue her personal growth.
Willowind serves a special niche to both special needs and mainstream communities alike on Mount Desert Island and the surrounding region. As an employee of Willowind and as a parent of two riders I know first hand how every dollar donated counts. Lesson income alone doesn't cover the cost of running this center. Some families with significant medical costs associated with a disability or special need struggle with the cost of lessons. Willowind offers a wonderful scholarship program to assist these families in need. But, to continue this, Willowind needs the support of our community to provide such a critical service. Therapeutic riding can be so effective that one hour on a horse can sometimes accomplish goals that would otherwise take hours using other types of therapy.
One of our riders passionately stated,"Willowind gives me the freedom to move." For these riders, I am excited to run not one, but two 1/2 marathons to raise money and awareness for services at Willowind. It is called Run MDI's Sea to Summit Series. The first is Sunday, Oct 20th on MDI and the second is Dec 7 in Millinocket. Please show your support to help us help others have the freedom to move!
Thank you for your consideration!
For more information about Willowind: willowind.org
~ Check out this recent news story about Willowind! 2 minutes. https://www.foxbangor.com/news/item/therapeutic-horse-center-helps-those-with-disabilities/?fbclid=IwAR2Mg8Igi_MKtbaeWDjvqhCr5IMm-mrSH8356A1EZ1eYyLsOtmjG5SUS_4M