Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center Serving all individuals with unique abilities and health needs


At 4 years old, Matthew was diagnosed with Mild Mental Retardation, Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. My whole world changed forever but as it turned out, for the better.  Matthew loves animals, movies, books, computers, school, work, and of course his Nintendo DSI. However something was missing. Then we heard about Ivy Hill. 

At 18 years old, my son was accepted into the Ivy Hill family.  He will be turning 21 at the end of September 2015.  Matthew was wanting friends so much but was never included in birthday parties, bowling, etc. It broke my heart to see my son so withdrawn and lonely.  At one of Matthew's IEP's, the teacher suggested Ivy Hill.  I took Matthew up to the barn for an evaluation and one of the first words out of his mouth was "I'm not getting on that thing" who just happened to be Sonny.  He was guided very gently to groom and saddle Sonny.  Although Matthew was very nervous, he did as he was instructed.  Matthew was then put on Sonny and started riding.  A love affair had begun.  Matthew started communicating better, his posture is awesome, and he looks forward to every Saturday going to see "his Sonny".  Matthew started competing about 4 months after he started riding at home shows and at Thorncroft and has qualifed for Special Olympics Penn State two years in a row with the hopes of going to Penn State many more times.  He takes competing very seriously and gives his absolute best every time.  he has earned many ribbons and medals which he displays in his bedroom and is proud of each and every one.  Every Saturday we go to the grocery store and buy carrots, sugar cubes, and apples.  We even stop at Dover Saddlery to get the horses their cookies.  

Matthew has turned into a mature, loving and terrific young man, and I could not be more proud.  Matthew and  would like to thank the Board of Directors including Mr. and Mrs. Brockett, Donna and Rick Carlson, and the most wonderful instructors including Hillary, Megan, Janna, Ashley, Tiffany, Ami, Rachel, Sam and Julie.  We would also like to thank the four-legged therapists that we adore, including the cats.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the tremendous gift you all have given Matthew.  We hope that we make you all proud.  We love you all very much and thank you for letting us be a part of the most wonderful family at Ivy Hill.  

All our love today and always,

Matthew's Parents

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