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  Kay Drissel, NARHA Instructor and retired elementary school teacher, with 30 years experience, will provide a presentation to your service clubs, such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Women's Clubs, etc. The presentation includes a slide show and lasts about 15-20 minutes. She can also provide a talk to parent groups on children with disabilities and how therapeutic riding instruction benefits them.

  Another program provided by SHADOW Equestrian features their miniature horse, Mia. She will travel to your school, church, or any other location to provide handicapped children an opportunity to pet and brush an equine up close.



Kay E. Drissel (President), 1907 Monroeville Rd. Monroeville, NJ 08343Phone: (856) 694-4034     Email: shadoweq@verizon.net



At age four, our daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with Fragile X, a genetic disability that causes severe hypotonia. We were told to involve Hannah in as much physical and occupational therapy as possible. A co-worker of mine told me about SHADOW Equestrian. Hannah lives for Wednesdays to come. She is now seven years old.

Low self esteem, depression, inability to focus on tasks, and lack of interest in social encounters are the other severe effects a child with Fragile X suffers from. In the two years since Hannah began therapeutic horseback riding lessons, we have noticed a significant increase in the volume of her voice due to the strengthening of her abdominal muscles, an increase in her desire to socialize, due to the strong bond between her and her horse, and a significant increase in her ability to pay attention to multi-step directions as a result of the activities Hannah participates in while riding.

The first time I brought Hannah to see Mia, the miniature horse, Hannah was frightened to be near a live horse. Thankfully, Kay saw the twinkle in her eye that I did not. Two years ago I was only hoping to see a steady increase in Hannah’s abdominal strength. Today, Hannah is posting and trotting, following 4-5 step instructions, and has a profound love for her horse. I highly recommend therapeutic horseback riding to every child needing muscular therapy. I guarantee you will see an overwhelming improvement, not only in physical strength, but in self-esteem.

Hannah’s mom, Lynn

Victoria, age 7, diagnosed with Trisomy 4q (rare genetic abnormality), began riding at two years old at CHASE Riding Center in Williamstown. Our goals at that time were to improve her muscle strength, coordination, attention to activities, and her speech. Victoria did not begin to walk until she was 22 months old. The horses and instructors helped her with her hypotonia and sensory issues. Victoria was quiet and shy. She used some single words along with signing. She was expected to tell the horse what she wanted it to do, and eventually she did. She quickly learned to run and play with her peers.

When CHASE closed, Victoria did not ride for a year, and she really missed it. We tried other things, but she developed a passion for horses. She began riding at SHADOW Equestrian in 2004, and it was like she never skipped a lessons. The horses and instructors made her feel relaxed. She looks forward to every lesson. She puts her helmet on before we leave to go riding so that she doesn’t miss a single minute with the animal that she has grown to love and ride.

She has learned many new skills such as jump position. Her confidence and willingness to try new positions on the horse continues to improve each week. The instructors are proactive in working on Victoria’s academic goals. They have worked on her core body strength, along with following directions, sequencing, color and number recognition, and eye/hand coordination.

We are very proud of Victoria and her accomplishments, and we look forward to continued growth. We cannot thank Kay, the instructors, and volunteers enough for what they have done for Victoria.

Victoria’s mom, Tammy