Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What I Understand

  Barb, Following Jonah and his Therapist

All of us at Jacob's Fund feel so strongly about the benefits of hippotherapy and therapeutic riding and the caring, integrity, and passion of the therapists and staff of the facilities we work with that we urge friends and supporters to visit these therapy centers and see for themselves. 

That's what Barb Lintner did this spring.  Here are her thoughts:

For several years my friend Glenna has shared with me the passion she has for McKenna Farms in Georgia.  She told me about the experiences she and her family had when her grandson Jacob was a client there.  We talked about taking a trip there so I could see firsthand all the things she described to me in such glowing terms.  Finally, we made the trip a few weeks ago. 

The size of the farm really surprised me.  Not only is there a barn and horses, there are many buildings used for physical therapy treatments.  I was really impressed with the Sensory Trail that was built and dedicated in Jacob’s memory.  There is so much more at McKenna Farms than a barn and horses.  Jessie and all of the staff are so nice and accommodating and you can see and feel the passion they have for what they do.  Just talking to them, walking along the trails, seeing the horses, and watching all they do is impressive.

I don’t understand all of the technical terms that describe how hippotherapy works, but let me tell you what I do understand.

Amy, Jonah's Mom

I understand sitting and talking to a mother as she feeds her young son who has problems eating and listening to her story of how she has become a researcher.  Every day she spends time looking for ways to help her son.  Any possibility is explored and thoroughly researched as she hopes and dreams of one day finding ways that will lead to a better life for him.  Life changes dramatically when you have a child with disabilities and parents dedicate their life to helping them.

Sammy, Who Knows his Mom is Talking About Him.

 I understand standing at the rail in the arena watching a young man being led around on his horse and hearing his mother tell her story while tears stream down her face.  How she shares his life story and her thankfulness that she found hippotherapy and all that the program has done for him.  Her main question?  Why did it take so long to find hippotherapy?  I can only imagine the joy and happiness she feels when he smiles as we talk to him and he answers in a small sweet voice.  I hear the pride in her voice as she tells me how he has changed and grown. 

I understand watching others as they are led on their horses and seeing the way their posture improves, how joy floods their faces, how they laugh and clap because they are having fun and love the experience of riding on a horse.  And all this time, they are receiving therapy they so badly need.

I understand the joy and pride that the therapists and volunteers feel when progress is made and how the mother’s heart must fill with happiness.

And those are only a few of the many stories I could tell you about my day at McKenna Farms. 

There must be ways we can spread the word that hippotherapy works and make it more available to the children who can benefit so greatly from the program.  I am so happy to know Jacob’s Fund is working so hard to help provide for the children it supports.  I am thankful for the experience of visiting McKenna Farm and experiencing all this wonderful organization does for children.  Please pray for the staff and help Jacob’s Fund to be involved as they help the children and their families.

For more information, or to learn how you can help, please contact Jacob's Fund at or 513-423-0108.

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