Joel and Malcolm probably did not imagine what they were getting themselves into when they started at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. Little did they know that the journey they would begin would change their lives and bring them life-long friendships.
Joel started hippotherapy at Little Bit when he was eight years old. After just a month of therapy, Joel, who has autism and is non-speaking, started to learn new skills, like putting on his own socks. As he came every week for therapy, his skills and abilities improved. Like Joel, Malcolm has autism and has greatly benefitted from the adaptive riding lessons. He loves spending time on his horse, Rosie, and has built a true relationship with her.
Thanks to Little Bit, Malcolm and Joel were introduced just last year, and have quickly become best friends. They love doing the trail ride together and playing leapfrog while riding their horses around the outdoor track. At the end of class, they go together to give carrots to their horses. Malcolm and Joel are excited to come to class, and their parents love seeing their friendships grow every time they are together with their four-legged friends.
Kari, Joel’s mom, shared “I wish everyone could see their smiles. There can’t be a price tag on hope.” She continues, “as a parent, everyone was telling me all the things that Joel could not do. When we arrived at Little Bit, they really believed in him. Once a week there was a place that we could go that believed in Joel. When someone uses language that expresses “we believe in you” you get different results.”
Since 1976, Little Bit has helped people like Joel and Malcolm live happier lives through hippotherapy and adaptive horseback riding. When the organization started 43 years ago, they had just one horse and five riders. They have grown to be one of the largest PATH Intl Centers and one of the largest full-time therapeutic horsemanship programs in the country.
Each week, over 230 children and adults with disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis come to Little Bit for hippotherapy and adaptive riding. They welcome riders of all levels, whether they are interacting with a horse for the first time or training for the Special Olympics. The staff and volunteers at Little Bit believe in every rider that comes to their facility, and the therapists and instructors that work with the participants focus on what each needs most to elevate and improve their lives.
Check out the website below to learn more about Little Bit and support their incredible organization.
How to Contact This Farm:
18675 NE 106th St
Redmond, WA 98052