A Future and a Hope
Filling a Hole; how we started our horse program (p. 1 of 3)

Looking forward to this Saturday!

For those of you who do not know, it has been raining here in Kenya, a lot. It has rained so much, in fact, that people have died in floods. Many folks have asked if we are ok, and the answer is YES. We live on a hillside high up out of the way of the flooding. Our only issue has been that it is very slippery and muddy up here because our soil is clay. Getting in and out on our road has been difficult. This means that we haven't been able to do our therapy sessions these last few weeks. Our horses have been idle in their stables to keep them safe from sliding all over the hillside and protected from the constant cold, rain.
 
The exciting news is that this week, the sun has come out! Many of you may have seen photos of us riding on FB! Kate jumping moonWe are cramming in as much schooling, riding, exercising as we can before our sessions start back up this weekend! Horses are like children... leave them without any guidance, instruction, stimulation, challenges, they become undisciplined, bored, and a bit unpredictable, so we are diligently spending time with them every morning during our school schedule to see that they are consistent, confident, and steady for the children who come and trust them each week. (Plus, it is our PE time for school, and it challenges my children to compete with themselves, and push themselves, too!)
 
We are so happy to be getting back into the swing of things. We are adding 3 new riders with autism to our already lengthy list of children who are part of our Horsepower program. When we started this, I had no idea that we would find so many children with autism here in Kenya. I don't have my files in front of me to actually count them all, but they are many.* I have been studying to see how horses help children on the autism spectrum specifically, and I am amazed. I plan to write an article with my finds soon. 
 
The reason for this research is so that I can better understand how to train our horses and prepare games for the individual needs of the children who come.
 
Thank you for the love and support bringing a future and a hope to these special people.
 
How many of our readers have participated in or seen a horse assisted therapy session? Leave your answer in the comments!
 
Also, I am working on an article about how this horse stuff at A Future and a Hope all came about! Stay tuned!
 
*not all of our riders have autism. Some have down syndrome, learning disabilities, or physical disabilities.
 **Johnny insisted I put this photo of me jumping, but I think you might like to see horsepower in action instead!
 
Galia has non-verbal autism, and her mom is feeling so much relief to see her daughter delighted on her pony.
Mom and daughter
 
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