Charity of the Week: Ride On St. Louis

Like so many teenage girls, Katelyn is horse crazy. She has the bug so bad that she has begun collecting items, along with statues and proper riding attire, for the day she will be a horse owner. Many of us know this ritual. Katelyn is a natural when it comes to any horsemanship activity. One only has to explain a technique once and she thoroughly remembers and understands the process, then works VERY hard to master the skill; the only challenge she faces more than most of us is getting certain parts of her body to cooperate. Katelyn lives with cerebral palsy and hearing and vision impairments.

When we learn how to mount a horse we step into the stirrup and swing our leg over the cantle, and for most riders that’s not too much to think about. Katelyn, although she has been riding for over 5 years, still concentrates all her efforts on mounting her horse. Building her strength by doing leg lifts and other exercises is an integral part of her riding class that you would not normally associate with a riding lesson. With three hardy bounces that preface her mount, Katelyn uses her strength and concentration to hoist her right leg up and over the cantle with minimal help from her side walker. In addition to mounting, Katelyn is also perfecting a 2 point position and counting the beats to learn a posting trot with the help of her side walkers.

When Katelyn began at Ride On St. Louis (ROSL) she worked with our physical therapist to stretch muscles just so she could gain the ability to sit astride a horse and Katelyn has set many milestones and made phenomenal progress. She works meticulously hard to make these advancements and her goal is to one day ride independently. ROSL retired a great Quarter Horse, Shamrock, who was push button shown in western pleasure and, of course, just the type of school master Katelyn and ROSL needs. ROSL would love to find the right horse to help Katelyn and other riders pursue their dreams and benefit from this needed therapy. Visit our website (charitable not-for-profit 501 C3) for more pictures or for more information if you have the perfect horse for Katelyn, a true equestrian with a thirst for the how’s and why’s of riding!

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