My name is Ariel Johnson and I’m a therapeutic rider at Milestones. I was born with cerebral palsy, which has made it difficult to walk.
When I was younger, the only way I could walk was with two crutches. Horseback riding has helped me strengthen my legs. I was able to start walking with just one crutch, then no crutches at all; I walk okay without them now.
I’ve been riding horses for therapy (and fun) since I was 3 years old. When I first started horseback riding, the instructors led the horse for me, but I’m independent now and can ride on my own.
Silver Saddles Riders
The Silver Saddles program provides a fun way for the over-50 crowd to socialize, stay fit, and learn new skills.
My name is Marian Crabtree. I’m a rider in Silver Saddles at Milestones, and I also volunteer with the rider lessons. I’ve been coming to Milestones for six years.
It’s difficult to describe, but riding is just a pure joy—it’s a little touch of heaven for me. When I’m riding a horse, I feel a sort of specialness; I feel important. It’s hard not to feel important when you’re on a horse!
If I didn’t have Milestones, I’d probably stay at home on rainy days, sitting around inside. But I come to Milestones every week—it doesn’t matter what the weather is. It gets me outside and active in the fresh air. So that’s terrific!
Volunteers & Instructors
Our volunteers and instructors bring the care and expertise that make our programs great!
I’m Peggy Engleman, a volunteer at Milestones for the last five or six years.
What I like most about Milestones is working with other volunteers and the kids. Everyone comes with their own expertise and it seems like people respect each other – it doesn’t matter who you are.
I’ve loved horses since I was a kid, but I’m not very good at riding. My parents were terrified, so I didn’t start learning until I was 50, after 25 years of teaching. Volunteering here gives me my horsey fix and a chance to work with kids again. I’ve seen some incredible things happen when you put a kid on the back of a horse.