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Review for Project R I D E Incorporated, Elk Grove, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I was in a lonely, dark place in my life- having some fairly serious health issues and going through a lot of stress at work. I finally took a leave of absence, which helped some, but left me lonelier than ever and w/o much reason to get out of bed every day.
My therapist asked me what I liked to do that I'd stopped doing, maybe due to work, or lack of time. I remembered I'd loved working with horses in my teens, but hadn't had any real opportunity in the intervening 15 years or so.
I'm also quite shy and nervous around large groups of people. My therapist suggested finding a program like this one working with horses, because I already knew I could, and with kids, because they don't make me feel so anxious. It would get me out of the house and help others while helping me, as well.
I couldn't have guessed how much I would LOVE my time at Project RIDE. All of my fears and anxieties fell away working with the clients here. Most were children, some were adults, but I never felt judged or awkward, and I looked forward to every shift I could work. I started as a "sidewalker" and got to train as a "leader" (in charge of grooming, tacking and leading the horse through the sessions). Unfortunately, after a few months my health took a turn for the worse and I haven't been able to go back yet. I definitely will, though. Just like the students get to build on their skills through the program, I imagine I'll need to build my stamina and confidence back up as I go. Everyone here is so supportive and friendly, I miss going in to help. I miss seeing the progress my "little peanuts" made every single session. I miss our silly songs and games and most of all I miss their strong, determined hearts and the near constant laughter. Project RIDE affects everyone who participates - students, instructors, volunteers, observers. Everyone should visit at least once to see the wonderful things they are accomplishing there all the time.

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Role:  Volunteer