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Meraki Student Studies Equine Therapy

Grace giving instruction to a new rider

I’ve been working with an equine trainer for about two months now and I love it.  When I first went to my first training, Heidi, my trainer, said to pick out a horse, so I picked out “Z” She was a beautiful, muscular brown horse that is tall with a white striped nose. She was used for herding cows and sheep. Heidi taught me how to put on the saddle before I rode her. After that we started to ride. When I was riding Z,  Heidi was impressed and she said that we were a match for each other. She said that I was a natural at riding so she went ahead and taught me advanced skills like jumping, posting, loping and how to do tricks like dancing or moving his front legs only. After a month, she started to take me on trails. It is so fun to go on the trails with your horse because you're  just controlling the horse and looking at the trees or the hills and water.

After working with her for a month now, Heidi said I could train one of her horses “Shasta”.  She is a miniature horse that is very fluffy, impatient, doesn’t like to be worked on and also too lazy to do her work, but she is working with me now.   I have been working her hard, so kids can ride her and that was my next step: teaching kids how to ride.

On March 9th, the trainer, her daughter, another girl that also is training and I took the animals out to a domestic violence center where kids and adults are staying. We took baby goats, baby chickens and my miniature horse, Shasta. I held the baby goats for the kids and adults so they could pet them. They also had the chance to hold the baby chickens. We taught them how to milk the momma goat. Finally, we brought out Shasta's cart, and kids had the chance to ride in it while Shasta pulled them.

It is so awesome to do this because I’m teaching them what Heidi taught me, and now I’m registering Shasta to become an equine therapy animal. Horses are such fascinating creatures! Riding is amazing!  It’s like you’re one with the horse and it’s so fun to ride them.

~Grace