Ride and Shine Assisted Equine Therapy
- September 18, 2017
- Tiffany Schwenke
Ride and Shine Assisted Equine Therapy is a program designed to help people overcome disabilities while having fun horseback. The creator of this special program is a kind-hearted horseman named Kelly Stone of Gillette, WY.
Kelly has been developing his skills with horses for many years. The horses used in his Ride and Shine Assisted Equine Therapy are all ones he has worked with and cowboyed on.
Something about being on a horse makes disabilities melt away. For a time, the clients feel free, happy, and have an over all sense of well being. Of course there are always challenges while working to overcome disabilities. The Ride and Shine program helps them learn how to overcome challenges with an equine partner, persistence, and success. Ride and Shine is designed so the clients do exercises and work on muscle movement while enjoying time on a horse. The kids have fun and think they are just playing games!
Jake is 4 years old. Before Jake started this program he had leg braces and was unable to walk unassisted on flat ground and now after some time at Ride and Shine he can RUN across the arena in deep, uneven dirt! Before Ride and Shine Jake needed constant help and got frustrated easily. Now, Jake has some freedom with his mobility and is a very happy little go-getter!
Two licensed physical therapist are on each side of Jake while Kelly leads the horse he calls “Cakes.” Jamie Hendryx and Danielle Gray both work for Momentum Physical Therapy. They both had great things to say about the addition of horses to Jake’s therapy!
The team work together in helping Jake progress.
Jake’s mom, Vanessa, watches the improvements her son is making and says it is very heartwarming to see.
The smile on Jake’s face says it all!
Another client of Kelly’s is Jordan. Jordan is 19 years old and he is afflicted by autism. Jordan loves the horse he works with. Jordan named the horse Apache. Jordan helps with feeding and care of Apache. He does not consider himself a client but more of a “hired man.” Kelly told me, “The two just clicked. Jordan and Apache were made for each other. I had been working with the horse. He was a difficult, moody, and opinionated horse. When Jordan and him saw each other for the first time the horse walked up to Jordan with a soft eye and put his head down. They have been partners ever since. Jordan has taken Apache out on six big outside rides to gather cows. Their first ride outside was in the timber and I was a little nervous at first, but when I saw them trailing along I thought to myself, ‘we’re winning!’ “
Glen Smith Sr. from 4-Play Horse Training is a volunteer at Ride and Shine. Glen gives Jordan a ride out to Kelly’s barn and helps with the program. Kelly said “I appreciate having an experienced horseman there to troubleshoot, give advice, and help with the horses. Glen has also helped the physical therapists learn more about horses.”
According to a HeartMath Institute study, “Horses have an extremely strong heart rhythm or heart energy field. Equine assisted therapies have conducted studies, using HeartMath, showing horses assisting in healing humans. This occurs when a horse’s heart rhythm is strong enough to influence, like a magnet, the human’s heart rhythm, thus aid in regulating, calming, neurochemistry within the brain.” To read more about this study visit their website heartmath.org
As for future plans, Kelly hopes he can continue to help those who are interested in equine therapy.
Ride and Shine is doing just that… helping people “Ride and Shine.”
Ride and Shine is so much more than what can be described in words.
If you know of anyone interested in Ride and Shine Assisted Equine Therapy please give Kelly Stone a call at 307-257-1569 or find him on Facebook at Ride and Shine Assisted Equine Therapy.
About Tiffany Schwenke
My family has been ranching and raising horses for over 100 years. We raise, train, and market AQHA horses at North Four Mile Creek Horse Ranch. We produce the annual event WYO WILD RIDE RANCH RODEO. I am a wife and a mother to 3 amazing...