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


Colin was diagnosed with autism and SPD when he was 2 1/2. At that time he was mostly nonverbal, didn't interact with his peers, was struggling to meet developmental mile stones, and had frequent meltdowns. It was a struggle to take him anywhere or just do daily activities. As his parents we saw the happy loving loving little boy he really is, but his troubles coping with over stimulation hid it from everyone else. I was the mom rushing out of a store, playground, restaurant, etc. with a screaming child that I didn't know how to help. With Early Intervention services he began showing progress and we learned what to do to help him. Still we felt like there was something missing. We noticed he had a connection to animals. Weather it was pets or wildlife he is instinctively drawn to them. Often we would catch him sitting in a corner talking to our puppy more than he would with us. We had heard of equestrian programs and started looking for one in the area when a friend told us about Ivy Hill. We looked into their services and automatically felt this was the place for Colin.

Colin began riding at Ivy Hill in the summer of 2015 when he was 4 years old. From the very start he was eager to ride on Pebbles. It wasn't long before we started seeing positive changes first his temperament began to improve. When he walks into the barn it's like a sense of peace comes over him. Even if he has had a bad day after riding he always seems refreshed and ready for a new week. Then his language began improving. He started using more words and before long we were able to have small conversations with him. We were really amzed when we saw the things he could do while riding. During one lesson he began doing a lacing card. This was something we had struggled to get him to do while sitting at a table, but there he was acting like it was no big deal. A few weeks later he caught a ball for the first time during his lesson. I can't explain it but being with the horses opens him up and let's him reach his full potential.

This past fall Colin participated in his first horse show at Ivy Hill. In his group he placed in 3rd place for walking and 2nd place for trail. He was so proud of himself and still carries his ribbons around to show people. He set a goal to get 1st place next time and is always asking when the next horse show will be.

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