imgSuperkidCDOur son, Coulter, began Therapeutic Riding at Mane Gait in September 2008. The focus of the lessons is skill development and progression while improving the rider’s physical, cognitive, emotional and/or social skills. At that time, Coulter was almost two and still not walking, so we felt it would be a good addition to our regular physical therapy sessions and hoped he would share his mom’s love for horses.

Coulter did well and was always happy to begin his sessions, but he was completely exhausted by the end. During this time he started walking and showing more independence, so we continued the sessions in the spring and then decided to sign him up for his first horse show in May. All participants competed in a Western Pleasure class and a Trail Riding class.

The classes were scored on rider posture and attention to the horse. Coulter was the youngest participant and rode with two side walkers and a leader. Instead of holding the reigns and paying attention to the horse, Coulter smiled and waved at the crowd on each pass in true SMS fashion.

We were worried he wouldn’t be able to endure the entire length of the show since his sessions were usually only 45 minutes and the show would be over 2 hours. Instead, he was the one who kept his team entertained during breaks by doing the motions to the Itsy Bitsy Spider, dancing to the music that was being played and giving high fives. Despite getting fifth and sixth place in his division, he looked so cute and enjoyed getting so much attention!

Coulter is our SuperKid!
Dwanda and Brandon

(excerpted from Spectrum, Vol 14, Issue 2, Spring 2010)