Community Connection arriving at Victory Farm, therapists worked with him, gently stretching and pulling to get him into the correct position to ride. Braden then experienced the sensation of “walking” for the first time as he rode Buddy around the ring. “I’m walking! I’m walking,” he yelled. Soon, Braden was yelling, “Run! Run! Run!” Braden’s mother, Wendy White, speaks in amazement about the progress Braden has made. “Braden was unable to sit up, crawl, or move his legs into a forward motion. He was nonverbal, in pain and discomfort. Today his speech is clear and full of humor; he is sitting, pulling up and taking steps. He can navigate a walker and will be starting school in an ablebodied kindergarten — not special ed! He is not the same child.” Nine-year-old Carter, who has a nonprogressive type of muscular dystrophy, also rides Buddy. Carter has improved his balance and core strength by riding, and likes to help out at the farm by cleaning out stalls and grooming the horses. “It’s so rewarding to be a part of something that has such a positive impact,” said Carter’s grandmother, Ann Smith. “This program was an answer to my prayers for Carter.” Victory Farm uses rescue horses, like
Carter prepares to trot on Flint. (Photo supplied by Victory Farm) Buddy, whenever possible. Buddy came from Saddlebred Rescue. Another horse, Flint, was saved from the slaughter truck by Forever Morgans. Forever Morgans is an all-volunteer organization that rescues Morgan horses and places them in either an adoptive home or foster home while waiting to be adopted. Each
horse goes with an adoption contract to ensure they do not end up at auction again. Dory is very particular in the selection of the horses. “You can see in their eyes and their faces if they’ll be a good candidate for the farm. The horse has to have a nurturing temperament, particularly around children.”
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Lifestyle magazine covering the Lake Wylie community.