The Therapeutic Horseback Riding program teaches horsemanship skills and basic grooming to individuals with diagnoses such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury, Spina Bifida, and Down syndrome.
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.