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


Hello, my name is Crystal.  I am 21 years old and have been riding at Ivy Hill since 2003 when I was 14 years old.  When I first started riding I was a little bit afraid of the horses because they are so big.  When I was learning how to groom them I was afraid to pick up their hoofs and when I brushed them I thought they might kick me.  When I was riding on a horse I was always afraid I would fall off.      

My instructors kept encouraging me to keep trying and wouldn’t let me quit. Sometimes they still push me to do things (especially Megan!)  when I am afraid and think its something I can’t do.  Last summer Megan wanted me to start cantering and I was really makes me because before I know it I can do something I never thought I could. 

Therapeutic riding has helped me to get stronger too.  I have some weakness on my left side and since starting riding you can’t even tell my left leg is weaker.  I have learned how to control the horse with my left hand even though it is very weak.  I really like being in the home shows, going to Thorncroft and especially getting to go to Penn State for Special Olympics in June.  It’s really fun.   One year I qualified for the Devon Horse Show and that was really exciting.  I have lots of friends at the barn and I really like seeing everyone at my lessons.  Most importantly, therapeutic horseback riding has taught me to believe in myself and to keep trying to achieve new goals.  I used to be very quiet and shy and it has helped me to come out of my shell.  I have grown into a beautiful, confident, young woman.  (My mom made me say that!) Thank you Ivy Hill for helping me to become the best I can be. 

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