My daughter's instructor was very poor. The lessons were all the same with no explanation of what needed improvement. When I asked her specific questions, she could not answer them. She often road outside in the rain even though they have an indoor ring. Some horses like the job and others clearly don't and students don't have a choice in which horse they ride which is supposed to make them better riders but all the kids know which horse will only disappoint. The lessons rapidly went from fun to not fun. It's also not well organized. The kids are just sort of expected to figure out what to do when they get there.
I have volunteered at Challenge Unlimited for about five years now, first helping with the horses used by clients who were there for therapy, and later in the Welcome Center. The staff at the farm are professional, dedicated, and compassionate people who combine their efforts for the well-being of their clients. In addition to the serious work done for people with disabilities, there is an ongoing effort to establish a sense of community through programs like Breakfast with Santa, a Derby Day road race, and an annual evening gala fundraiser. Challenge Unlimited is a wonderful organization doing amazing work.
I have been with challenge unlimited for over 8 years. Through all the wonderful programs that they offer I have met so many friends and the people at challenge unlimited have become a second family. They are genuinely happy to see you and work their hardest to make sure you get what you need. The dedication and hard work of the staff is incredible to miss they are always at work with a smile and always brighten the day
I worked with CU when it first started in the 80's and am so impressed with then strides it has made even from a very strong start!
I have been involved with Ironstone Farm for about 9 years. In that time I have watched much growth, from clients, working students, volunteers, staff, horses, as well as my daughter and myself. I have been involved in helping were needed from feeding, volunteering, greeting, birthday parties, and other special occasions. Ironstone Farm is a great place to make friends, relax, exercise, work, socialize, and enjoy to just enjoy nature. My daughter and I started volunteering 9 years ago (so we had something to do together) she became a working student, made lots of friends, acquired great work ethnics, and has now working to become an instructor herself. As for myself I have found that I started because I liked horses, and working with kids, but stayed because I found I had as much to learn from those horses and kids if not more than they could learn from me. Anyone that spends time with these wonderful horses will become a stronger person.
I am writing this review as a client served but Challenge Unlimited has done so much more for me. This place HAS been life changing. The hippotherapy that my autistic child participated in at the farm is the reason that my child went from being non verbal to talking non stop. The staff, volunteers and horses are the most amazing people (and animals!) that I have ever met. I recommend them to anyone and everyone I can and will continue to do so. Ironstone feels like a second home to us and we will never be able to thank them for everything that they have done for us!
I have volunteered at Ironstone Farm over the course of three or four years now. Safety is of primary concern, the staff is well trained as are the horses! Until you've seen a child or young adult go from no smiles and fear, to laughter and joy, you can't begin to understand the great value in this program!! The physical and emotional needs are met. The bonding with the horses is amazing.
The local is also excellent, providing beautiful views and closeness to nature. A quiet green pathway under sunlit trees, or the blue heron on the pond.... it is almost zen-like.