Hunter, who is on the Autism spectrum, had his first lesson. A handsome, 6-yr old, he fought getting on the horse and in only two minutes, signed ‘all done.’ Through it all he covered his ears and was very resistant to any activity at all. He would not touch or brush the horse.
At his 8th lesson, he mounted the horse with almost no help; held the reins, sat up straight - posted 5x times in each direction! –smiling, totally engaged. He brushed his horse, helped put the saddle away and thanked everyone!
Hunter arrives in Nana’s lap at BITS. (She needs a wheelchair.) Grampa drives them as he no longer can work, but helps his wife raise their Grandson. He used to just watch. But on this day, the volunteer, who sidewalks with the client, was late, Grampa was asked to sidewalk. It was hard to tell which person received the most joy from the lesson, Hunter or Grampa!
And a new volunteer was born.
Many retired volunteers are working to raise funds to help BITS - financially. The Center wants to offer scholarships to parents. BITS ETC’s goal is to have everyone ride free or for a nominal payment – scholarships picking up the real costs.
Now the veteran’s program begins. A chance for our heroes to experience the healing power of horses. Not just the veterans, but their families will take part in care and handling of our equine therapists.
I’m very grateful that I can participate as a 69 year old volunteer!
Learn more at: www.bitsetc.org