Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Owen on the Trail


Owen, ready for a trail ride.

"Owen has shown a tremendous draw to the horses during therapy time,” Margie Benge, of Triangle Therapy Services, wrote me when she recommended him for a Jacob’s Fund scholarship.

When we met Owen in late October, nothing could have been more obvious. Once his mom, Amanda, had helped him out of his seatbelt, Owen made straight for the barn and his horse, Dusty. When he slowed down long enough for introductions, he smiled, waved, said hello, and then quickly returned his attention to Dusty. We understood – Jacob felt the same way about his horse, Major.


Fall hippotherapy is all about pumpkins!

One of the most rewarding parts of our work with Jacob’s Fund is meeting the children and their families. They remain in our hearts, and we love sharing their stories. Amanda and Josh, Owen’s parents, have four children. This afternoon, Owen’s twin brother and little brother accompanied him to hippotherapy. They played on the playground while Owen rode Dusty and we talked with Amanda. In the midst of this happy little collection of brothers, we found the clouds and chill of that gray Monday falling away. We were more than a little smitten.

Amanda and Josh didn’t know, before he was born, that Owen had the extra chromosome that causes Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome. His twin does not. Owen has been in therapy since he was born. This summer, his therapist recommended hippotherapy to improve Owen’s muscle tone, core strength, and balance, as well as his gait pattern.

Owen and his brothers pause to pose (?) for a photo with Mom.

All three therapy disciplines – physical, occupational, and speech – use the horse as a therapy tool to allow children to maximize their potential, thereby leading to a richer, abler, and more fulfilling life. That’s what we want for Owen. That’s what we want for all children.

 Granting a scholarship to Owen and kids like him always makes us feel as if we are participating in hope and love. Jacob would want that for other kids. We want you, too, to share in that. If you’d like to be a part of this mission of hope and love, we welcome you into the fold. Jacob’s Fund supporters provide financial support for children with developmental impairments whose families cannot afford the cost of using the horse as a therapy tool. We rely on your donations to fund hippotherapy and therapeutic riding for Owen and other children. No contribution is too small, and we can assure you that your heart, too, will be filled, knowing that you have helped kids experience their best possible lives. Donating is quick and easy; simply go to our Facebook page, Jacob Beachy Fund, and click the DONATE button. We also welcome your check; please send it to:


Jacob’s Fund

1630 Tipperary Dr.

Middletown, Ohio 45042-3875

Thank you.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Treat to Watch: Dalton’s Hippotherapy

Dalton and Jack O'Lantern.

Dalton’s five. When we meet him at Triangle Therapy Services shortly before his birthday, we are dazzled, not just by his delightful smile, but also by his dimples!  Joy radiates from this little boy. He picks up the jack-o-lantern at the entrance to the barn and holds it in front of his face and urges Bernie to take a photo of him. He giggles when his horse starts to trot - and we do, too! He grins triumphantly as he completes each task his therapist assigns him.

 Dalton was born with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. He’s been in therapy all his life. This summer he underwent surgery and therapy was interrupted while he recovered. Now he’s in intensive therapy and, under blue October skies, surrounded by the rich golds and reds of autumn trees, he’s back on a horse and loving it. 

When You've Found the Pumpkins!

Therapy, including hippotherapy – using the horse as a therapy tool – is hard work.  Dalton works at strengthening his core, balancing on the back of a moving animal, and exercises many muscles all while following a series of instructions. Therapy in a clinical setting, which is so much like the doctors’ offices kids with developmental impairments have to visit so often, can lead to tedium. Boredom can diminish a child’s enthusiasm for the exercises and progress can be slowed.

Hippotherapy, on the other hand, is fun, and children aren’t aware that they are working very hard. Dalton may be tired at the end of his hippotherapy session, but he’s excited for his next visit, when he can move freely through space, in the open air, and interact with a horse.

Happy boy, happy mom.

Dalton lives with his dad and mom and two sisters. Mom, Angie, drives forty minutes each way to and from Triangle Therapy and just as many to and from Dalton’s other intensive therapies at Children’s Hospital at the University of Cincinnati, multiple times each week. His family is grateful to have a hippotherapy facility within driving distance.

 If Dalton’s dazzling, dimpled smile has warmed your heart, too - like a Halloween bonfire - we hope you’ll consider donating to Jacob’s Fund, so that Dalton - and other kids like him – can continue to progress.  Our Facebook page, Jacob Beachy Fund, makes it easy: click the DONATE button.  We also welcome your check; please send it to:


Jacob’s Fund

1630 Tipperary Dr.

Middletown, Ohio 45042-3875


Thank you for helping children achieve independence and live their best possible lives.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Corbin, Beating the Odds

Corbin grooming his horse

We met five-year old Corbin,and his mom on a beautiful Thursday evening in the serene countryside in southwestern Ohio that Triangle Therapy Services calls home.

As Corbin prepared his horse for the session – helping taking the horse from the stall, grooming him, completing all the necessary steps, we watched him carefully follow the pictured directions in order while we talked with his mom.

Corbin had been up since 6:30 a.m. and spent the entire day undergoing a series of tests at a hospital almost two hours from home.  Mom said she could tell he was tired, but at 8:15 p.m. he had completed dozens of exercises his therapist had designed for him, including doing sit-ups and holding his hands in the air – all while balancing on the horse, laughing and smiling.  And he still had enough energy to play on the swings and the slide in the playground when hippotherapy was over.

Therapy = fun on a horse

This lively little boy filled us with joy, especially knowing how his story could be so much different.

Erin and Josh, Corbin’s mom and dad, know all too well how life can change in a flash. In the summer of 2019, Josh was preparing dinner; Erin, an Occupational Therapy Assistant, hadn’t arrived home from work.  

Corbin asked his dad if he could go outside. Josh told him no, because dinner was almost ready. But Corbin, four at the time, slipped out the door, and headed to the family’s pool.  By the time Josh discovered Corbin was gone and found him, he was not breathing. Little Corbin had suffered a near-drowning.

The traumatic brain injury which resulted carried a very dire prognosis: doctors told Erin and Josh that Corbin wouldn’t be able to walk or talk, and that he would probably have to spend the rest of his life in an institution.

Still hard at work after a long day

Erin was familiar with hippotherapy as a result of her training. When she found that Triangle Therapy Services, just twenty minutes from their home, offered hippotherapy, she was thrilled. Pairing Corbin with a horse as a therapy tool seemed natural; Corbin loves animals – he has a dog named Sadie and his family is planning to get a new puppy.  He loves hippotherapy. It has allowed him to experience continuous improvement with his balance and fine and gross motor skills.

“Now he’s doing all those things they said he would never do,” Erin told us. Indeed he is, and Jacob’s Fund is thrilled to be able to fund a scholarship for his hippotherapy this summer.

We hope you’re as happy as we at Jacob’s Fund are to learn about the progress Corbin has made and continues to make. We welcome your comments and hope that you will consider a donation to Jacob’s Fund that will ensure that Corbin can continue hippotherapy.

 It’s easy – just go to our page, Jacob Beachy Fund, on Facebook, and click on the Donate button.  It takes only a few seconds, and you will know that you have made a positive change in the life of a child.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Miller, Back in the Saddle

Miller, all beautiful smiles

We at Jacob’s Fund find getting to know the children we provide scholarships to and their families greatly rewarding. We have missed that these past few months

During the months of Covid-19 closures, both our partner facilities, McKenna Farms in Dallas, Georgia, and Triangle Therapy Services in Eaton, Ohio, have been providing telehealth therapy while working hard to ready their therapy centers for in-person therapy. In June, both centers had completed modifications and put in place safety protocols, including mask-wearing and sanitizing procedures, so that hippotherapy and therapeutic riding could resume.

So we were excited to meet Miller and his family at Triangle Therapy Services early this week to watch his hippotherapy session. “How will we recognize him?” we asked Triangle’s director, Margi Benge.

“Well, he’s an adorable little blond boy,” Margi told us.


Miller with his speech therapy team

She is so right. Miller is seven, and, as his mom, Holly, describes him, “a fun little guy.” In the outdoor arena, Miller’s smile lit up his face and lifted our spirits every time he rode past us on Dusty, his horse. Miller’s speech therapy includes identifying objects, retrieving them, and placing them where he is directed. While these and other exercises on the horse expand his vocabulary and improve his speaking ability, they also increase his core strength, balance, and motor skills.

Born with cerebral palsy and severe gastrointestinal problems, Miller receives occupational and physical therapy as well as speech therapy. He enjoys living on a farm with his mom and dad and brother Andy.

Miller's family

Miller tried hippotherapy for the first time last summer and it was very beneficial. Since then, he’s grown, and he continues to improve. This summer’s hippotherapy will ensure that he has the opportunity to make even further strides.

Jacob’s Fund provides scholarships for hippotherapy and therapeutic riding to children like Miller. We are glad to see them back in the saddle. Your caring support helps these children live their best possible lives. Donating to Jacob’s Fund takes only a few seconds: please go to our Facebook page, Jacob Beachy Fund, and click the “Donate” button. No donation is too small, and you’ll know that you are making a positive change for Miller. Thank you.  

Watch this space later this week to meet two more children who are receiving scholarships for hippotherapy this summer at Triangle Therapy Services.   

Monday, July 13, 2020

Jacob's Fund just earned a 2020 Gold Seal by adding information to our Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar. Now our community members as well as 10+ million GuideStar users can find in-depth information about our goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress. We’re shining a spotlight on the difference we help make in the world. Plus, we’ve provided fresh information to 200+ charitable websites and applications that use GuideStar data, such as AmazonSmile, Facebook, and Network for Good. What do you think?