About Our Kids
Kids With Special Needs
There’s nothing like watching a child fall in love with a horse. Their face lights up, and even the shyest will soon be petting the horse’s nose and leaning into its broad neck and mane. For a child whose life is complicated by physical, emotional or economic challenges it is sheer magic. Those are the moments we live for at Old West Special Trails, Inc.
EthanEthan was born without a cerebellum. The cerebellum is the area of the brain that processes information on motor movement coordination, balance, equilibrium and muscle tone. Ethan's condition is so rare that doctors had little guidance to offer his family on what they could expect. So his family moved forward by engaging Ethan in normal childhood activies. He's been coming to Old West Special Trails, Inc. for two years. Ethan on horseback with his mirrored sunglasses, infectious grin and unwavering pride in learning to ride is magic in motion.
BrandonBrandon has Cerebral Palsy (CP). CP is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills to varying degrees - from extreme muscle stiffness to involuntary movements and problems with balance. Brandon is clearly delighted to move from wheelchair to saddle and does quite well, when mounted, walking and even trotting around the paddock. We have a special boarding platform to make it easy for him to mount and volunteers that make sure he stays safe.
AllisonAllison has Rheumatoid Arthritis. RA is a form of inflammatory arthritis and an autoimmune disease. It is a chronic condition that has no cure. The pain and swelling of joints is difficult for adults to manage, much less a child. Allison was sometimes despondent and struggled to participate in regular activities. She spent a lot of time in her room. But when she was given the chance to connect with a horse life started to open up. She rides regularly and grooms, saddles and feeds her horse. As you can see - her smile has opened up as well.
CarrieCarrie is legally blind. But to watch her ride - you'd think she was just another girl wearing sunglasses. But Carrie is so much more. She has been riding with Old West Special Trails, Inc. for quite some time, starting in the paddock and gradually building up to trail rides. She rides with little supervision now and is a regular in our horseshows. Carrie has a beautiful voice and sings The National Anthem at the start of our events. We deeply appreciate all the gifts and talents that she shares with us and the community.
You can help a child with special needs participate in a five week life-changing program with a $125.00 donation. It’s a tax-deductible contribution that lets a child live out their dream.
Kids of All Kinds
Click here to view Channel 5’s coverage of some of our kids participating in the Grand Entry at the Dixie Nationals Quarter Horse Show.
Our kids come in all ages, sizes, colors, and socio-economic groups. They range in riding skills from those having never touched a horse to advanced barrel racers. Our children and teenagers enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and the physicality of horseback riding while learning to listen to a horse and allowing the horse to teach them.
Whether coming together with their friends or making new ones, our kids learn the responsibilities of handling a horse and how to look at life from a horse’s perspective. Self-discipline, patience, team building techniques, riding and life lesson skills are learned and promote a healthier, happier, more confident child with greater self-esteem. They trail ride on 90 acres, work summer camps and participate in specialized events. Our Grand Entry Team performs exciting, fast paced and intricate patterns on horseback while carrying flags at the commencement of rodeos and other equine events.
The calming effect on a kid’s mind and body while riding a horse is amazing. Regardless of what a child may be facing – the ups and downs of life, bullying, peer pressure, stress at home or school – it all melts away the moment they sit in the saddle. The horse doesn’t care what you look like, where you come from or whether you had a bad day. It responds to and gives back love.
You can sponsor a child by donating $285.00 for a five week program with Old West Special Trails, Inc. It’s a tax-deductible contribution that lets a child live out their dream.
You may donate online by using PayPal – just enter the amount you’d like to contribute.
Thank you from all our kids, families and staff!