4 Legs & a Tail Lebanon Fall 2018

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What the Therapy Horses Have Shared I

can never thank my coworkers – the horses - enough for all the amazing magic they bring to each lesson. The horses are blessings and the

Sue Miller

clear reason that riders want to take part in the programming. The horses are celebrities. Each has a fan club of admirers. Riders often don’t remember my name, but they never forget the horses and that’s the way it should be. I enjoy teaching the lessons as much as the participants enjoy time riding, but the horses deserve all the credit. Over the years I have learned so much about what makes a good lesson good. What each rider enjoys. But most importantly how much the horses can tell me if I take the time to listen to them. The horses are never wrong. The horses relay information about their riders that the riders often can’t articulate or don’t even realize. One instance several years ago. I had a rider out on what we called a trail ride. This ride was a walk around the perimMy past coworker, Dudley

eter of a hay field where our program was running. It was a beautiful sunny day and quite hot. We had walked up and down hill and were on the straight stretch back toward the barn. We were most of the way back to the ring when I noticed a change in the horses’ gait that alerted me to look the horse in the eye. The horse, Dudley, let me know that the rider was about to have a seizure. Because Dudley gave me warning, I was able to talk my volunteers through the seizure and what we should do to protect the rider. I had a radio with me and was able to relay the information to the team back at the barn. A car was dispatched to come out to the field to pick up the rider. We all got the rider down safely and into the car where the rider’s parent awaited with the medication they needed. Dudley never flinched. He was so careful in taking care of the rider and I am so grateful that he was able to give me the information I needed to calmly talk everyone through what should have been a very scary incident. But because we had enough warning, everything was handled with great care and tact. This potentially scary situation was just a walk in the park because Dudley let us know what we needed to do. Continued Next Page

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