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


Emma's wonderful speech at the Ivy Hill Silent Auction....

Good evening, my name is Emma.

I have been riding at Ivy Hill since 2010. When I was 18 months old I contracted meningitis and almost died. The meningitis left me profoundly deaf in both ears, damaged my vestibular system, which controls my sense of balance and caused low tone in my trunk muscles.   I received a cochlear implant in my left ear, and my parents took me to OT & PT for many years to help me recover.

I had always had an interest in horses, but when my family moved to Bucks County it gave me the opportunity to be around them.  I found Ivy Hill on the internet while reading about hippotherapy and the benefits of how it could help with my back & stomach muscles. When I was 8 we discovered that I had scoliosis. By the time I was 14 it had progressed severely to a 70 degree curve. Eight months, after I started riding at Ivy Hill, I had two titanium rod implanted in my back to correct my scoliosis.  My surgeon at CHOP stated that he was able to shorten the length of the rods because of the strength and flexibility I had gained since riding at Ivy Hill.

When I was finally able to ride again, my instructor, Janna, worked with me on strengthening exercises to make my back stronger. As my riding ability gradually increased we got back into trotting, and cantering. Riding has helped me to become more independent and confident.  While at Ivy Hill, in addition to riding horses, I have learned how to care for the horses and all the associated equipment.  I have participated in Ivy Hill Home Shows, The Thorncroft Therapeutic Horse Show and had the opportunity to ride at The Devon Horse show in 2012.  I have volunteered doing barn work and leading and side aiding for lessons and horse shows. I have also volunteered for summer camp and Special Olympics at Dover, Delaware.

During summer camp one day, I was sitting with some of the little ones making lanyards. For so long I had been trying to find ways to give back.  I love Arts & Crafts so I started Emma’s Lanyards for Charity to raise money for an organization that has changed my life. For the past few years, I have been making these lanyards and selling them wherever I went. I started a Facebook page and friends helped by donating materials and helping me sell them. I set a goal to raise $1000 and I’m proud to say that I met my goal. I plan to raise money for other organizations that have improved my quality of life.

I would like to thank Sharon Sweeney for donating my first set of materials to get me started, Sports Wear Plus in Doylestown who sold my lanyards in their showroom, Bonnie Seeley and Sharon Sweeney for letting me sell them at their stands at Rice’s market. I would also like to thank my Dad for being the best business manager out there and my mom for helping me make lanyards. Lastly I would like to Thank Janna, Megan, the board and all the donors who made Ivy Hill possible. As I am a senior in high school I will miss riding at Ivy Hill when I am away at college.  I would not be where I am today without Ivy Hill and all of you.  So, I would like to present Ivy Hill with a check for $1000.

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