When Sophia came to We Can Ride she was eight years old and her autism and severe anxiety were stopping her from progressing in her daily life. She was on several different anti-anxiety medications but still struggled. At We Can Ride, she started working with her instructor and volunteers, focusing on improving the skills that most bothered her.
As she continued working with the We Can Ride team, her conversational skills improved and she was able to interact more positively with her peers and the people around her. She was so willing to work with her horse and learned very quickly how to ask for help from those around her. With every session, she improved and learned skills that made her life easier.
After her first eight-week session, Sophia’s doctor took her off of her anti-anxiety medicine, crediting the majority of her improvement to the We Can Ride program.
Erin from We Can Ride says horses “are wonderful teachers of how non-verbal communication impacts others.” Because they respond quickly to changes in the rider’s behavior, they serve as constant feedback - timely offering either rewards or consequences for behavior. We Can Ride has a team of 20 horses that are “the muscles behind the miracles.”
The horse team works in the therapeutic riding lessons and hippotherapy with We Can Ride’s trained therapists. Individuals with disabilities or special needs benefit from the unique programs not only physically but also cognitively and emotionally - developing emotional awareness, social skills, and self-esteem.
We Can Ride serves more than 230 riders with disabilities every year. It is Minnesota’s only Premier Accredited center of PATH: Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International. More than 500 volunteers contribute their time and talents to We Can Ride’s organization every year.
It’s all for people like Sophia, whose lives are changed through the effective programs and the dedicated care of the staff and workers at We Can Ride. Erin shared another success story about a little girl named Kiara.
Kiara has Mitochondrial Cytopathy, a degenerative condition that affects her strength, stamina, and mobility. After trying traditional therapy but tiring after just a few minutes into the therapy, her physicians suggested hippotherapy.
Each week, Kiara and her mom would travel an hour to arrive at We Can Ride, where they would work on strength, coordination, and stamina. And it was well worth it. Kiara’s mom says “it’s given her life back…or a quality of life that we never thought possible for her. You don’t understand how much it improves and affects her life on a daily basis unless you see it.”
Visit their website below to learn more and support the amazing work at We Can Ride.
How to Contact This Farm:
4301 County Rd 24
Maple Plain, MN 55359