Ben was healthy and happy when he developed his first cold. Within three days Ben was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit and diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, a rare, polio-like illness that affects the spinal cord causing paralysis. Ben was paralyzed from the neck down, only able to move his right hand. Upon doctor recommendation, Ben started riding at Lovelane and the transformation was remarkable. His chest and belly muscles began to gain strength and improve enough so that he can now sit up by himself! Breathing and intestinal issues have greatly improved and the increased breath support has encouraged Ben’s speech. Today, he never stops talking!
Reese has a genetic disorder known as Phelan-McDermid syndrome. It affects her development most noticeably in her speech and muscle tone. Reese started taking therapeutic riding lessons at Lovelane. Now, seven years later, with confidence and strength, she tells the horse to “go fast please” and sits tall when riding. The bond between Reese and her therapists has built a trusting and heartwarming relationship that pushes Reese to succeed with each challenge.
Born with cerebral palsy, twenty-one year old Delaney, or “Dee” as she is known at Lovelane, has been riding at Lovelane since she was two years old. Every week Dee enthusiastically guides her electric wheelchair up the mounting ramp eager to get on her horse. Being on a horse allows Dee to feel the movements associated with how “normal” walking would feel.
Finn is very happy about the lessons. I can really see his core getting stronger and more confidence each time. He seems to really enjoy independent riding. I think it helps him practice his listening and concentration skills. I have really seen such a positive improvement in his sense of self too. You are doing a great job!
When the words Spina Bifida were said during our 20-week ultrasound we were in shock. We did not know what this would entail for our life and our family going forward. We were told that due to the severity of our baby’s condition she would most likely need a wheelchair. At that moment, an activity such as horseback riding seemed completely out of the picture….. Five years later, she is her best self at Lovelane. She is outgoing and confident. She feels supported and cared for by the staff. Her medical team has credited her riding at Lovelane to helping her recover from surgery, gaining strength and improving her balance. As her parents, the smile on her face when she rides would have been enough.