Colorado HorsePower started out as a program for local elementary school children. It was started in 1984 by a Castle Rock local, and since then, has grown to serve both children and adults with special needs. They offer therapeutic riding on the beautiful country facility at Meadowbrook Farm.
Right now, they have 6 horses – most have been donated throughout the years, and there’s a wide variety of breeds and sizes to fix the needs of the riders. There’s Quarter horses, a Missouri Fox Trotter, Peruvian Pasos, all ranging in age from 14 to 35 years old. Laredo is the oldest of the HorsePower horses, and is a steady, consistent horse that does a great job with the riders.
Laredo was the horse paired with one 4-year-old boy that comes to HorsePower. He is legally blind and suffers from severe anxiety. When he started at the farm, he could only repeat one- and two-word sentences that he’d heard from his grandmother. He didn’t like to have anything on his head, especially not the riding helmets.
The lessons started slowly, trying to ease him into the arena, then to the ramp, then finally to the horses. The goal was to help him pet his horse, Laredo on the shoulder. It took several attempts, but finally he did it. He pet the horse on the nose, then on the neck – then even kissed Laredo on the nose! Everyone was thrilled and excited for the next goal – getting him onto the horse.
His anxiety levels were high as volunteers helped put him onto Laredo. But as soon as he got into the saddle and Laredo started walking, he immediately calmed down. He wiggled all over the seat, smiling and giggling and calling out to his grandmother.
During one lesson, while they were walking around the arena, he said “look at the horses!” From then on, he started to talk in full sentences, and now he never stops talking. He is currently getting ready for kindergarten. The change that he has experienced because of HorsePower is incredible and Tricia Plattner from HorsePower shares that “his personality has blossomed. He is a complete joy to have in class and a favorite for many of our volunteers.”
Volunteers socialize with the riders while they teach them horsemanship, balance, and other skills. They become part of the lives of the riders, and every little success that the rider experiences, the volunteer gets to share as well. “Our volunteers are the lifeblood of this program. When the students get on the horse and start to ride, you can see their personality change. And you also see the volunteer’s personality change.”
These changes are what makes the difference at HorsePower. Check out their website below to learn more and support this organization.
How to Contact This Farm:
5027 Garton Road
Castle Rock, CO 80104