Although we were forced to temporarily close the barn doors at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center as of mid-March, that didn’t stop our services to our students and our support of our volunteers. Even though it’s very difficult to provide therapeutic riding, carriage driving and direct interaction with horses to veterans and those with special needs in this current situation, our staff has risen to the challenge.
For the past two months, we have been providing virtual riding lessons (yes, it is possible), as well as stretching and strengthening videos and interactions via Zoom. One instructor even took her students on a virtual trail ride, teaching her riders how to steer their horses on the trail and how to shift their balance when going up and down hills.
For our school partners, our staff has provided educational videos on horse care, different types of feed and anatomy, among others. One instructor even painted the full skeletal system on her horse to demonstrate the bone structure of a horse. Another read books to the students from the stall of two of our miniature horses.
We have also provided volunteer skill trainings so that our volunteers are ready once we begin the process of our having our community return. We also taught our volunteers about the various needs of our students based on their different disabilities and provided them with additional equine education.
We hear repeatedly that our volunteers, students and families all miss seeing the horses. When they see pictures that we post daily on social media, they are reminded of their incredible connections with “their” horses. Posting videos of barn and pasture tours gives everyone the chance to see the horses live. Knowing that the horses are well soothes all of our souls and gives us all hope for tomorrow!
Chief Development Officer
16497 Snyder Road
Chagrin Falls, OH 44023
440-708-0013, ext. 123