Pony Partners has been both wonderfully powerful and purposeful in our experience. There’s a real feeling of connection that takes place here and the instructors and volunteers are incredibly supportive and intuitive and helpful.
With the support of Lucy, Eleanor shows ever increasing flexibility in her left side. In further supporting the direction of her physicians, Lucy works with Eleanor weekly on building the flexibility and strength of her left side by asking her to steer Dayton into left hand turns and by reaching and stretching that side. Friends For Tomorrow’s one-on-one approach to teaching supports Eleanor’s need for a quieter and calmer riding environment.
Volunteering at Friends For Tomorrow is the high point of my week! Each week, I am newly impressed by the instructors and how they demonstrate their amazing knowledge, care and dedication as they work with each student in the Therapeutic Horseback Riding and Pony Partners programs. With each student, we get to watch their progress as they gain self-confidence, social skills and physical strength. Finally, there’s the ultimate reward; the student’s high fives at the end of the lesson for all of us privileged to share in their experience.
Riders are empowered by a relationship with a thousand pound being known for its empathy, strength and gentleness. They enjoy the outdoors, sometimes wandering through woods along paths no wheelchair could navigate. There are few gifts more humbling and joy-full than seeing a child who cannot verbally communicate, who has no idea what a ‘horse’ is (except maybe ‘big and funny smelling’), move from being anxious to beaming a smile that outshines the sun, to see the face relax, the smile bloom, the humming begin, to have my own eyes held by the utter delight in theirs.
The staff and volunteers are amazing with the kids. The group is facilitated well with lots of individualized attention. The wide variety of animals is fun and enhances learning. The the topics in the curriculum are well chosen.
He feels confident and proud about the animal care tasks he participates in. He feels happy and accepted by the Hooves, Paws, and Claws group. The social skills component is great
I was completely awed by both the professionalism and the expertise of the staff at Friends For Tomorrow. Allie, her instructor, was particularly adept at getting Hanna from saying, “NO” to exclaiming “Sure!”
One of the things that I’ve learned from volunteering at FFT is: your challenges don’t define who you are; the way you deal with your challenges is a far more accurate gauge of your character. That is true for everybody, not just the riders at FFT. Volunteering at FFT has brought that idea into greater focus for me in my daily life.