Testimonials

 "My son has been riding with Strides since 1st grade and is now in 5th grade. He has struggled with cooperating in groups and picking up on other social nuances. Because of his involvement with Strides and working with horses, he has been able to learn how to work in partnership with an animal toward a goal. Over the years, he has shown much improvement and he has begun transitioning those learned skills into his family and school settings. This has given him greater confidence in relationships. He has always made friends easily and quickly, but because of his social challenges, those same friends often choose to spend more time with others. You can imagine how this may affect one's self-image and self-esteem! His ability to maintain quality friendships and become more has much to do with Strides and the social skills he learns while working with the horses, instructor and assistants." | Robin, mother


  "Going to my horseback riding lesson is always fun! I love getting to spend time with the horses and my riding friends. Sometimes we get to take trail rides and other times we stay in the arena and play games. Riding horses is one of my favorite things to do even though working with a horse is sometimes tough!"  | Joseph, client

 

"Trail rides are a good way to get horses to listen to you.  The ponies you can ride except for one, Sparky.  He is good for carriage rides.  We play games as we ride the horses like red light, green light."  | Preston Schwendiman, client, age 10

 

 

 

"Mrs. McCary is a good horse person.  We do some games, training, or a trail ride.  We help lead the horses for other kids.  I like Strides."  Braxton Schwendiman, client, age 14

 

"Strides! Where do I begin.  As I think back to the day it started in 2006 when Braxton was that first child to begin the experience I can hardly believe the changes we've seen over the past 10 years.  He was a small 4 year old who didn't speak much.  Braxton was diagnosed with autism at 2 1/2 yrs. old.  We used a little sign language and we tried to coax him to speak.  The first lesson he didn't even get on the horse.  I can still remember walking around the arena with him as he would just walk beside the horse.  It snow-balled from there over the years. Some days he would be covered in stickers that he got as rewards when he complied with requests given him and other days he would try a new food.  We were always so excited about every milestone he continued to make.   He learned to give commands and had a blue's clues radio to help him.  Braxton has learned to ride a horse and be a horseman, but he has learned so much more!  They have worked on his speech, motor skills, eating issues, sensory issues, confidence, compliance, social skills, and many more things.  Today he is a fun-loving 14 year old who is verbal,  more confident, and has his own sense of humor!  Lately he has frequently been heard reminding his 5 younger siblings to "listen to your brother-the teenager!"  He has been an independent rider for years.  Several years after Braxton started his younger brother Preston was also diagnosed.  Though the degree of how their autism affects them differs, they both benefit and love riding horses.  They have recently started helping with other lessons after their own and enjoy being able to help others.  When Braxton turned 8 one of his favorite things was cub scouts.  He earned the horsemanship belt loop and pin as a cub scout.  This month he just became a Star Scout and received his horsemanship merit badge.  Strides enabled him to be able to do that!  This program is a blessing to all the lives it touches.  We have amazing instructors and volunteers that love to help and serve others!" | Shandiin Schwendiman, mother

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© Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship Center | Website Design: Pieta Elegante | Cinematography: Pieta Elegante