Sunday, October 22, 2006

It Was A Great Summer to Try Something New

As summer ends (with a BANG if you experienced the October storm in Buffalo), I figured I would relate to you my time at Rivendell Recreation Center.
As some of you might know, I have Multiple Sclerosis. Not as bad as some, but it still basically sucks. There are a lot of things I thought I would need to give up- one of them being horseback riding.
I volunteered to help my friend Mar, owner of State of the Art custom framing shop, in judging some art for a fundraiser last fall, "Horsin' around Rivendell". Rivendell is for a non-profit center that teaches handicapped people off all ages and level of disability therapeutic horseback riding. I met Trish Dudek, director, and had a talk about perhaps joining up.
Now, I never rode a lot, but I figured I would not have a time to try again. But starting last May, I got on Smokey (that's him rolling around above) and started. It felt so good to be doing something that I really liked and never thought I'd get to do again. I had a few weeks of getting used to riding, and then the therapeutic part started. My balance was tested and improved, I used muscles I forgot I had (hell, it's October, I had a lesson yesterday, and man am I sore). It was (is) an amazing experience. Trish and all of the staff are great, and really supportive.
Bottom line is, if you have a physical disability and a love of animals, I suggest that you at least try this- it's beneficial for the mind and spirit as well as the body. The "Horsin' Around" horse auction is November 3 at Samuel's Grand Manor, 8750 Main Street in Clarence. It is a good time, and benefits a great cause. There will be an online action, so keep your eyes on the site...


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