Charles Rides a horse

Charles Gets Started

When Cynthia Broaddrick enrolled her son Charles grooms horse from wheelchair at Mountin Hopes Charles, at Mountin’ Hopes in the Fall of 2005 she was confident therapeutic riding would be a good choice for him. Physical and occupational therapists had advised her that this could help Charles in his struggle with the physical challenges of Cerebral Palsy. A specific benefit of therapeutic riding for people with CP is that it teaches the body about the rhythmic sensation of gaited motion.

After Charles’ first visit to Mountin’ Hopes, it was clear to his Instructor, Carrie, and LeAnn, Program Coordinator, that Charles would require a program tailored specifically to his needs, allowing him to gradually orient himself to this new stimulating experience. Besides living with cerebral palsy, Charles also faces the difficulty of a deficit in sensory integration. This means that Charles can be easily overcome by sights, smells, sounds and touch sensations that present no difficulty for most of us.

Charles Rides Toby, an old Arabian

Charles rides horse with volunteers at Mountin Hopes

gentleman, was the therapy horse chosen for Charles. Toby stood quietly each week to allow Charles to begin to integrate the tremendous amount of sensory stimulation that a half ton animal can present. Gradually, Charles became more confident and a big breakthrough happened the day Charles “led” Toby from his wheelchair. Charles now mounts his horse “Tea Biscuit” and rides each week! His family sees significant progress in his balance, muscle tone, and ability to communicate – all resulting in greater independence.

“The confidence that Charles has gained through Therapeutic Riding can’t be credited to anything else he is involved with right now. It is a very important step towards greater independence, something we all want for Charles,” said his mother Cynthia.

Seeing the progress that Charles has been able to accomplish is a source of great pride and satisfaction for our employees and volunteers. At Mountin’ Hopes we make a difference!

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