Tag Archives: Special Needs Children

You Go, Jac!

10 Nov
There is nothing better than friends.  Jacob is to the right.

There is nothing better than friends. Jacob is to the right.

He struggled all of his life. Unable to read social cues, he was ostrasized by his peers. Rigid in his thinking, led to fights and altercations which started him on a path he did not want to travel.

In school he was classified as being on the Autism Spectrum and given a one-on-one aide to guide and lead him to success in the classroom.

His mother was constantly seeking innovative therapies to help her only son. She heard about equine therapy and its success with children that had difficulty with social situations. It was at this time that his mother registered her son to receive equine therapy at Raise Your Dreams Farm, located in Southern NJ.

It was here that I met Jacob. Every moment at the farm was structured and he was given specific tasks, which he carried out with precision. Slowly, he was seen as a great helper, and the other students would go to him for advice or help with their horse. He slowly gained confidence and a knack with the horses and ponies. It was here that he set noble goals and each one was met with thunderous applause. He got a facebook page and became friends with the other students at the farm. He learned to negotiate the nuisances of teenagerhood with the help and assistance of these friends. They would fist pump and high five each other over their accomplishments on the horses. Jacob learned valuable lessons that helped him to acclimate to the high school.

Today Jacob is declassified and this fall he was nominated for the Homecoming Court, voted on by his peers.

This may seem impossible, but for Jacob, he has one answer for his success, Raise Your Dreams Farm. It is here that he learned how to be a friend and how to have friends. Horses are the great equalizer and they taught him patience, love, forgiveness, and goal setting. Jacob has been given the coveted position as an Assistant Instructor, which he has taken quite seriously. He schools other students and has developed an instructor’s eye to fine tune the rider’s position. He has become a valuable member of this farm and it has blessed him as much as he has blessed us.

Would you like to support Raise Your Dreams Farm? It is very easy- just post a horse, tack, unwanted riding apparel on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com. Through your posting, you will support this farm and all of the work done here.

Want to follow the riders here? Go to Raise Your Dreams Farm FB page or Anything for Horse and Rider FB page.

Timmy and A Turtle

14 Jul

Timmy has faith that if he asks his heavenly Father that it will be done.

Timmy has faith that if he asks his heavenly Father that it will be done.

Every year Timmy goes to camp deep in the woods. Full of wildlife, Timmy is always exploring, capturing, and trying to keep what he finds. When he came home with a turtle his mother conceded and allowed him to keep it.

Excited to share the little turtle with all of his friends at the farm, he brought it on a busy Saturday. Everyone shook his hand in congratulations that he was able to capture this beautiful turtle. He was asking others what he should name it and he was becoming remarkably proud of his prize.

As the day wore on, the poor turtle was in distress,and I convinced Timmy that the best thing for the turtle was to set it free because it was not happy in captivity. His head hung low and I knew that he was trying to process it. I asked him to pray over the situation and allow God to take control of the turtle.

That’s when he boldly walked to the back of my property, reassuring himself that he could visit the turtle any time that he wanted. When he came back, I could tell that he was upset. Everyone tried to console him and then I asked him to think about what a great home he had given the turtle. He tried to rationalize it, but his heart was heavy.

Little did I know that I just set a catastrophe into motion. Within twenty-four hours, we got hit with such a violent rainstrorm that it dropped three inches in an hour. I was afraid that Timmy’s turtle was probably far downstream.

Sure enough, the next day Timmy was out and off he went to inspect his turtle. Sure enough the little creature was there and Timmy was happy to report that his turtle had the same characteristics as him, he had made friends with a frog.

Everyday he comes and treks to the stream and he is happy to report that “Timmy the Turtle” has made many new friends including geese.

It is amazing what God can do. I must admit, I doubted that the turtle would be safe. In the natural view, this turtle should be twenty miles down stream. Yet this little turtle was safe in the prayer of a young man that had faith that if he asked His Father in Heaven for it, it would be done. If He can save a turtle for a young man, then He can solve your problems too.

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart.Lean not on your own understanding and He will lead you. Prov. 3:5-6

Are you trusting Him with your dilemma? Give it to Him and watch Him solve it!

Hope Has Four Legs

1 Jul

Tyler rides his favorite pony, Quest.  Timmy is his favorite side walker.

Tyler rides his favorite pony, Quest. Timmy is his favorite side walker.

“If he does not start walking by September, the school insists that Tyler go into a wheelchair, I do not want that to happen. Can you help me?” she choked back tears.

April, Tyler’s mom, had heard about the great results of equine therapy. She already had physical, occupational, and speech therapists working with her son and none of these therapies were helping him as rapidly as she would like if her son was to walk by September. She was desperate for something that would work quickly.

“I know equine therapy will help. I cannot guarantee anything, but I would like to say with assurance that equine therapy encourages children to walk. I would like to meet you and your son,” I said. We set up a meeting for the following day.

An entourage pulled up, his grandparents, therapists, and friends of the family. April held up little Tyler. He was beautiful with blonde curls, deep blue eyes, and chubby little legs. Timmy picked him up and held him. Then Tyler grabbed onto Timmy’s hand. Timmy walks and talks because he is a product of what equine therapy can do. Like Tyler he could not walk or talk. His parents enrolled him in equine therapy and that’s when, “he got his legs underneath of him.” I told the story of Timmy’s equine therapy experience and I saw a tear escape from under the dark glasses.

It has been three months since Tyler has started equine therapy. During that time his core strength has become so solid that he can sit up on the horse. He can sit up on the horse and correct his balance without the assistance of the side walkers. He lifts his legs to go around the pony. He even high fives all of us. He walks through the grass with bare feet, something he could not tolerate until equine therapy. Today he crawls, pulls himself up, stands up, sits up from a lying position, and is interested in animals, especially the family dog. All of these behaviors were not seen until he started equine therapy.

We are still three months away from school starting and I do believe that he will be walking. The power of the horse conquered foreign lands, built ancient societies, and now the noble horse carries the weakest to fields of greatness.

Check out Tyler’s progress on Anything for Horse and Rider Facebook. There is actually a video of him walking with his gait trainer.

Do you know of anyone that was changed by a horse? Please share!

Teachings from Timmy

16 Jun

Timmy is always teaching me something new.

Timmy is always teaching me something new.

More lessons learned from Timmy.
Here is what I have learned so far:
1. Be nice to everyone.
2. Bring gifts, especially chocolate cupcakes, cookies that you bake, or candy bars. If you can’t bring any food, pick some fresh wild flowers.
3. Smile.
4. Be helpful without being asked. Just look for ways to help. There are a million ways to be helpful just watch for opportunities.
5. Tell someone that you are their buddy and wrap your arms around them.
6. Do man’s work if you are a man and woman’s work if you are a woman, that way you won’t get too tired.
7. Get a happy meal at McDonalds and play with the toy.
8. Be thankful for everything!
9. Pick up after yourself.
10. Enjoy each day because this is the day the LORD has made, be glad and rejoice in it.

Post your unused tack, horses/ponies, or horse related business on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com and help more children.


Equine Therapy is Like Relaxing on a Couch

13 Jun

Equine Therapy is Like Relaxing on a Couch

Katie relaxes on Quest after a hard equine therapy session!

What is the Difference Between A Good and A Great Day?

9 Jun

Timmy working on his balance on Chicken Nugget

Timmy working on his balance on Chicken Nugget

Driving Timmy home after a very busy day at the farm, I glanced in the rear view mirror to see his smiling face.
“Timmy, what are you smiling about?” I asked him.
“I had a good day at the farm,” he said in his slow drawn out voice.
“It wasn’t a great day?” I asked because he usually tells me it was a great day at the farm. Wondering if maybe something happened, my voice showed concern.
“A great day includes candy and I did not have any,” he said.
According to Timmy a good day is everyday and a great day is one with candy.
Why does he always have to teach me something new every time he is in my company?
Do you have anyone in your life that is teaching you lessons? Please share- I LOVE your comments!

http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com supports Raise Your Dreams Farm, a farm dedicated to spreading the Gospel and helping disabled and disadvantaged children. Please consider putting up your horse related business, used tack, horses, etc. Thanks!

Chickens and A Lesson Learned

22 May
Brutus and Timmy

Brutus and Timmy

We are going to a show.  Excitement is in the air.  One of my special students is a diligent helper and he is convinced that he too, is showing.  He wants to ride Brutus, a big beautiful Friesian-Cross.  There is no talking him out of it.

I call the show and ask if they would allow him to show.  He won’t have the proper clothing, and though he is sixteen years old, could we show in the lead line class?  They tell me that they will let us.

The day of the show, he is dressed in his best- a Western Shirt complete with a string tie, freshly pressed jeans, cowboy boots, and a large brimmed hat.  His smile says it all- he will disarm all unbelievers, he is here to show with the best of them.  Keep in mind this is an English show.

First class- he wins.  Second Class- second place.  Third Class- he wins.  Fourth Class- he pulls out, he is scared to trot on Brutus.  He WINS Reserve Champion.  Big ribbons, great toys, and pictures taken by the photographer for the show’s web site.  He pats Brutus and off he goes to “find” his ribbons.  He decided that he would just give his ribbons to the first “mother” he saw.

You see, he was too busy to be concerned with ribbons- he had chickens to chase.  It seems that he took the Rocky movie for truth, chasing chickens would make your reflexes like lightning.  Unlike my farm, they had chickens and every free second he had at the show, he was chasing the poor chickens.

That night as I was driving him home.  I glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw a dreamy smile pass on his face.

“Timmy, what did you like best about showing?” I asked.

“Chasing the chickens,” he said.

I guess that sums up the lesson taught to me by a very special blessing in my life.  It is not the ribbons we win, it is the experience that counts.  Who learned more that day, Timmy or Jill?  You guess it, me.  Thanks Timmy.

Did you ever get an unexpected lesson?


Are You A Hero?

12 Apr

Are You A Hero?

Please help immediately! I was just told that the Salem County Center for Autism has lost all of their funding and none of the children will be able to receive equine therapy. Please consider supporting or sponsoring a child. http://www.raiseyourdreamsfarm.com, call 856-769-3722 or email jmansor62raiseyourdreamsfarm@yahoo.com for more information.

Box of Tissues and A Painted Room

29 Mar

One of my special kids just got his bedroom painted, his favorite color, periwinkle blue.  His mother found him laying on his bed.  Usually boisterous and into everything, she was alarmed when she found him on the bed, as still as a lamb.  He was looking at the walls.

“Are you OK?” she asked.

“Yup,” he said.

“Why are you laying on your bed in the middle of the day?”

“I love my room painted in this color,” he said.  He started to sit up and then he looked at his mom and asked, “Can I have a box of tissues?”

Puzzled, she asked him why he needed a box of tissues.

He looked at her like the answer would be so obvious.  “Because now I don’t want to put my boogers on the wall anymore.”

Just had to share!



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