We offer equine facilitated learning, rehabilitation services for those with disabilities as well as veterans. We are an inclusive riding program and volunteer program.
Web Site www.forwardstride.org
Sophie is a client in our physical therapy program. She writes:
I came to Forward Stride a few months ago as a Rehabilitation Services patient, following a spinal surgery. Pulling in the gate for the first time, I had a sense of relief as I heard the horses and wind and birdsong, and knew that this experience would be different from the hospitals and clinics I had been in for the last few years. I struggle with an autonomic condition in which my heart rate spikes too high doing daily things like walking, or sitting. It has made rehab almost impossible until now. With the horses, my heart rate rests low and stays low. I can do so much more. And for the rest of the week, I carry with me this new sensation of what a regular heartbeat feels like.
Forward Stride has brought joy and companionship into a space in my life that so far had been mostly full of medical consults, stress, and worry. [My therapy horse,] Sindar has been with me every step, showing me that I can relax. Watching him respond to the changes in my heart rate and body language is teaching me to trust my body again as it heals. Often our work together with [my therapist] Sheila is filled with laughter.
My hope is that others who have been facing chronic pain or illness get to have a place like this in their life, that embraces them right where they are. When you live with an invisible illness, often what you want most is to be seen and believed. It is a gift to be part of a program that doesn’t see my condition as a barrier and helps me learn about myself and grow at my own pace. My family and friends now call Wednesdays (my rehab appointment day) “horse day.” It’s the best day of our week.