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Thank you, a thousand times!

“When I first heard about equine therapy, I was a complete skeptic. I had an unnatural fear of horses myself and felt it highly unlikely that horses could be therapeutic. The Red Barn came highly recommended, so I was willing to try it. We were desperate and desperation will often cause one to abandon one’s reservations and skepticism. I could hardly believe the difference the barn made in our family. It was a blessing and a treat for all of us. We have participated in all manner of activities at the barn and every one of them has been beneficial. Thank you, a thousand times! Thank you for all that you consistently do for our family and all of the families of the barn. You are making a tremendous difference, and oh my word! How can I adequately put into words the gratitude I feel when my children are at the barn? Their time there provides me with a much-needed respite. It provides them with independence, yet individualized attention; we all leave the barn better than when we arrived. It truly does mean so much to me to have my children participate in the activities there.” – their mom, Amy Martin

Raising three different children with their own unique needs and circumstances can be difficult at times. Amy’s teenagers, Shelton, Charlotte, and Maggie each have different needs and perspectives on how to meet those needs. Shelton has Autism, while Charlotte and Maggie were adopted at young ages. And like all siblings, there are times when they would clash with one another, or even their parents, and Amy never knew how to deescalate the situation. She felt breathless and unable to sense the air in the room as the friction between family members increased. 

Before coming to The Red Barn, Amy could not possibly see how interacting with horses would help her three children. As a healthcare professional, she could not understand how horses could be therapeutic. She was afraid of them and found the presence of these large creatures to be anything but calming. But, The Red Barn came highly recommended, and she was willing to try anything to help rein in the chaos and help better the broken communication within her household. 

The Martins began at the barn in a family group lesson taught by our instructor Ellen. Due in part to her skeptical nature and because of her earnest desire to strengthen her communication with her family, Amy tagged along as a participant. In one of the earliest lessons, Ellen asked her to move a horse with one finger. Amy struggled at first, having no idea how such a task was possible. However, Ellen helped her keep calm and walked her through the process of applying pressure and releasing. 

Then it clicked for Amy. It wasn’t about what was physically being done but how she felt about the action. As long as she remained calm during the activity, she was able to communicate with the horse properly, both verbally and nonverbally, and the animal would reciprocate that communication. The finger was simply a minimal amount of pressure that communicated to the horse where Amy wanted it to go. This lightbulb moment extended beyond just one activity with the horse. Amy realized that her own emotional escalation in tense situations with her kids had only been adding fuel to the fire. She learned to better calm herself and regulate her emotions, allowing her to think clearly and to effectively communicate with her children in those moments of discord. 

But Amy isn’t the only one who has benefited from the Martin family’s time at the barn. Shelton, Charlotte, and Maggie have become regular students at the barn, and have attended many different programs such as holiday camps, Job Skills, and even individual riding lessons. The Martins have an hour drive to reach the barn, but the excitement of visiting replaces any anxiety or frustration of three teenagers being crammed in a small car for that long. 

After his involvement with the barn, Shelton has become more organized and is now a huge help with chores around the house. Though he isn’t as much of a horse person as his sisters, Shelton loves the goats and feels most accomplished when he can do chores that directly benefit them. 

Maggie thrives in the barn’s encouraging environment. When upset in the past, she had difficulty using her words and controlling the volume of her voice. At the barn, she learned the importance of remaining quiet and using her voice and body language to properly communicate with her horse. These are crucial lessons she has carried over to her interactions with her family. She is much calmer now, and her mom better understands her needs and how to help her remain on a more even keel. Maggie is particularly drawn to animals with unique or unusual personalities – the more aloof they are, the more she wants to understand and love them. She and Billy the goat have become good friends as a result. 

Charlotte is a great kid who struggled with self-confidence in the past. The barn’s Job Skills program in particular has helped her. Before the course, Charlotte would shut down and remain quiet around strangers. The soft skills she has learned and the social situations she has experienced through Job Skills have led her to becoming the most talkative of the siblings. She is the best at directly communicating her needs, as well as the needs of the rest of her family, to The Red Barn staff. She’s the oldest and seems to have fully accepted the responsibility of being the leader and role model for her siblings. Charlotte does an outstanding job of positively encouraging and working alongside both Shelton and Maggie during their Job Skills lessons. 

The Red Barn, thanks to scholarship programs, have had a healing effect on the entire family, drawing them closer. Amy shared, “I wouldn’t know how to thank the people who gave so that we could get scholarships. I was never told I couldn’t come here or do any certain programs because it costs money.” 

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She feels healing, no matter what

“It brings many emotions to the surface. When your child feels safe, happy, looks forward to the experience, the staff, and her surroundings…it is everything. The tranquility is felt when you enter the gates. Alexis is what I would choose for her in a big sister. She looks up to her, trusts her, and they share a love of the barn and horses.” – Tori’s mom, Lisa Barnes

Tori will not let a single person she encounters at The Red Barn remain a stranger. Gregarious and polite, she greets everyone with a smile and, “How are you today?” 

Before coming to the barn, Tori’s life was mostly about lists and structure. These lists helped some, but her mother Lisa wanted her daughter to find a place that could both help Tori grow and learn while also having fun. Tori has always loved animals, so when Lisa heard about the barn she decided Tori would enjoy being around horses and signed her up for several camps. 

It didn’t take long for Tori to connect both with the people and the horses here. She quickly befriended everyone she could and those bonds she formed were an obvious sign that she found a place where she truly belongs. Tori became a regular at The Red Barn holiday and term-long camps such as Bully in the Barn and Social Skills. 

Lisa quickly noticed a change within her daughter. While Tori has always been incredibly friendly, deeper communication has always been more difficult for her. Tori became much better about sharing her inner thoughts because she was so eager to relay details about all of the different activities she took part in during camps at the barn. Her time during the camps also sparked new interests for Tori. Lisa recalled when Tori learned to make butter during Pioneer Camp. Following that experience, Tori began eagerly offering to help her mom out in the kitchen, gaining interest in learning new culinary skills. 

After more than two years of being a regular on The Red Barn camp roster, a riding spot finally opened for Tori. Although Tori had hands-on ground experience around horses, riding presented a new and exciting challenge for her. Horseback riding requires a very precise and intimate communication between horse and rider. At first Tori took that for granted and assumed that riding was simply a fun activity that would help her with physical exercise. It didn’t take long for Tori to realize it was much more involved. She realized she had to fully follow her instructor’s directions and be both firm and decisive in her communication with the horse while also being gentle and understanding of the horse’s needs. Being on horseback helped Tori better understand the back and forth nature of relationships, an abstract concept that Tori was able to grasp through the natural process of growing as a rider. 

Lisa has seen Tori transform during her time at the barn. For the first time in Tori’s life, she displayed an independent drive to improve herself through her desire to learn new riding skills. Even though Tori has found her passion in riding, she is still a regular in camps. Her mom reflects, “There is a spirit here and the people make it great. Tori can come to a class or lesson and she feels healing, no matter what.” 

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Biggest Smile in a While

“The Red Barn is a genuine source of support for my daughter. Their well-trained, compassionate staff provide a fresh set of eyes and ideas to help Sapphire develop goals and grow.” – Sapphire’s mom, Melissa Allen

Sapphire’s mom, Melissa, wanted to find an activity that would enable her child to express herself. She recalled a day camp at The Red Barn that Sapphire had attended years before with another organization working with the barn. The two of them visited for a tour and evaluation and instantly fell in love with the horses and the people. However, as a single mother of two adopted kids, Melissa was worried about being able to afford the cost of lessons. Luckily, The Red Barn’s scholarship program had an available spot for Sapphire.

In the summer of 2019, Sapphire attended both a teen social skills class and a family group with her mom through the scholarship. Despite having thoroughly enjoyed the day camp from several years previously and her excitement to be around horses again, Sapphire couldn’t help her nervousness on her first day. It was a change in her comfort zone, and she had little experience around horses. Though horse lovers can attest to the calm and gentle nature of these animals, many people are often unsettled in their first few close-up encounters simply because they’ve never been so close to such a large animal. 

Despite her initial concerns, Sapphire instantly connected with Panda. In her first week, Sapphire was tasked with matching her breathing and rhythm with Panda’s. Horses have a naturally slower respiratory rate at about 10 to 12 breaths per minute. Sapphire was able to match Panda’s breathing, and both she and her horse noticeably relaxed. Since then, she has found the presence of horses to be a natural source of calmness. Not only that, Sapphire has carried over these lessons on regulating her breathing in her home life and is often able to calm down with the help of the family dog, Pharaoh. 

Last autumn, Sapphire began receiving occupational therapy with our on-staff occupational therapist, Ellen. One of Sapphire’s primary improvements is evident in her posture. She no longer slouches her shoulders and stands up much straighter. Sapphire was able to connect her improved posture with her previous social skills lessons on presenting positive body language when speaking with others. This change of posture greatly enhanced her confidence as well. With her shoulders back and her head up straight, she no longer looks down as she walks, helping her better connect with peers at school. 

Amidst the chaos of the pandemic and when she needed a stable activity the most, Sapphire began taking riding lessons for the first time in May 2020. She had never ridden a horse before. Upon hopping down after her first ever ride, Sapphire said, “I haven’t smiled this big in a long time!” 

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Reid’s Own Words

 

We asked our longest-attending student Reid Pickett, who has been riding at the Red Barn since 2011, to explain what the barn means to him in his own words. His mother, Gretchen, interviewed him.

Gretchen: “What have you learned at The Red Barn?”

Reid: “Well I have learned trotting, but also how to use my words to instruct the horses.”

Gretchen: “What does The Red Barn do?”  

Reid: “They teach lessons… but it’s really a place for kids to have fun.”

Gretchen: “Do you use what Miss Alexis has taught you at home?” 

Reid: “I’ve learned how to take care of things like grooming. And I’ve learned to ask about unfamiliar situations like how it feels to ride a different horse.”

Gretchen: “What does Miss Alexis mean to you?”  

Reid: “Well, she’s my person and she’s made me better.”

Gretchen: “Tell me about the horses.”  

Reid: “They have frogs on their feet! And it’s cool that you can ride on them.”

Gretchen: “How do you feel when you go to the barn?”

Reid: “Happy and safe.”

Gretchen: “One thing that is neat about where Reid is in his Red Barn journey is that he’s very interested in the history of the barn/property. He’s gotten some information from Miss Alexis and he likes to tell people about what it was before the lower barn was built and how people used to live in the Red House. He’s also come home and researched a bit on his own, such as finding old pictures of the property online. Very cool!”

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Take the Reins

On a sunny day in Leeds, a group of veterans gather around the glistening pond where the property begins. They are here to participate in our Take the Reins program, which invites veterans and their families to come out for various activities at the barn. They congregate together today to do activities with the horses and to learn how to relax and cope with their PTSD. This program they are participating in is called “Take the Reins,” a metaphor for the veterans learning how to take the reins of life after war. 

The group walks from the pond to the upper barn. Two horses stand in the cross-ties while the veterans gather around to learn about their first activity – painting the horses. They can paint anything they want on the horses, whether the strokes have meaning or not. The goal is to allow them the artistic canvas while also reaping the benefits of interacting with the horse. As they begin, a strong, blonde-haired woman named Shelley paints on Black Flight with her neighbor, best friend, and fellow vet Pat. As Shelley paints, her markings come alive with colors and images that resemble memories: 

Here, near the front, I’ve painted the heart and stripes to show my love for my country. Those years of service will stay with me. On the horse’s rump, I’ve painted the United States Navy anchor with some pink, because I love pink and it should be more widely accepted in the military. On her front leg, I’ve painted vines and leaves growing up and wrapping around to show that my roots will always be on United States soil, no matter where I am. The yellow line painted on the horse’s spine is the yellow line of fear. Bravery is overcoming that fear.

The sense of relief and relaxation as she talks about her artwork on Black Flight is tangible. Black Flight exudes equal relaxation as she drops her head and breathes deeper with every brush stroke. Shiloh stands across from Black Flight. Shiloh is smaller than Black Flight, allowing a more comfortable option for those who are intimidated by larger horses. There are always options at The Red Barn, which finds people’s strengths and places them in positions that promote the opportunity to shine.

After finishing their exercises at the upper barn, they head back down to the pond where the original “Red Barn” building stands. This allows time for the veterans to reflect in a more open, natural space. As the geese float on the pond and the surrounding birds chirp, the group gathers around the amphitheater in between the Red Barn and the pond. The group breathes together and interacts with their surroundings. The veterans then engage in more art, writing, and acting sessions. 

During one of the writing sessions, Shelley’s friend Pat reads what she would tell her twenty-year-old self. Pat’s voice quivers as she reads aloud:

I was scared for the future, so I would have wanted to give my twenty-year-old self encouragement. I would tell her to trust in the Lord to show her the way, and to not fear the war. Recently, I have been attending grief counseling because my husband died in August. I’m giving my troubles and releasing my worries during these hours in counseling. Today has helped me so much. My parting words to my twenty-year-old self would be that you are going to go through hard times, but to be encouraged because God will help you and take you through them.

Pat’s powerful testimony shows how The Red Barn creates a space where participants can finally let go of their struggles. The horses’ calming attitudes have a way of tearing down emotional walls and helping create a sense of release. The atmosphere at The Red Barn naturally allows for people to not feel judged or pressured. The participants are encouraged and allowed to feel free of their burdens, even if just for a moment. Those that arrive on the property are  welcomed back with open arms. This is their place to belong.

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Audrey’s Story- In Her Own Words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One warm sunny Monday morning my mom and I went to The Red Barn. We did chores like dusting and sweeping. Then, I rode on a horse named Black Flight. The beautiful horse and I trotted and strutted on a trail ride. Lastly, I take the saddle, bridle, squared pad, and the box that has a curry comb, hard brush, soft brush, hairbrush, and hoof pick. After I put the tack up, I hugged Black Flight two times. The Red Barn stands as my favorite place, full of beautiful animals. 

I enjoy the different textures of all the animals at the barn. A glamorous small female cat with soft fur touched and talked to me when she trotted toward the goats’ hut. She jumped the high fence so she could play with all the striking fluffy goats and mess with their plain wet food. Then she walked up to the very lovely furry bunnies. The black, brown, and white bunnies have a cute massive play area. The black one is my favorite one because she has a clever and witty way of life. The different textures are very unique to me. 

I enjoy the different appearances of the animals at The Red Barn. After the cat met the bunnies, she saw the birds fly by and a small bat trapped in the barn. The next day the bat flew back home in the dark creepy caves around mountains. When the bat flew away, a big group of horses galloped free until they were thirsty. 

I enjoy some of the smells from the broad barn. The elegant horses went back to The Red Barn to eat their awful stinky food. The horses ate hay and oats. The bunnies had a fancy crisp carrot cake and sweet carrot pie. And the goats had fresh hay and scrawny tree limbs. We had a lot of sweet homemade cookies to eat, and they were crunchy.

The Red Barn has grand sounds that I like. The air sounded peaceful with the birds singing a humorous song and some of them are gifted songs. The party’s in the merry barn where you can hear the brilliant horses neighing at a lot of people. The Christmas party and Bluegrass & Burgers are two of the events. In the afternoon you will hear a long high-pitched shrill chirping from a lot of birds. 

My favorite place stands as The Red Barn. I am happy when I am with all the animals. When I ride it feels peaceful because I am alone on the horse. The barn has a lot of fun activities to do which makes me want to go back often. 

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Owen’s Story

“It means an affordable activity for my sweet boy. An activity that expands Owen’s world and helps his development.  It means a safe place that I can take Owen where he is understood, loved and accepted.  It means help and healing. It means my boy is going to get some horse lovin’. Thank you, Red Barn!” – Owen’s mom, Jennifer Ward

Owen has always been a joy to those who know him. He eagerly tries his hardest to please anyone and everyone that he can. However, he has struggled with change in the past.  And while Owen is well-behaved, his social development lagged slightly behind his peers. He would display behaviors such as intentionally wearing his shoes on the wrong feet. It was not a defiant act, but instead for sensory stimulus; when the shoes were worn incorrectly, they applied additional pressure that helps those with Autism Spectrum Disorder feel more regulated and secure. 

Owen has taken part in several different therapies to help with such challenges. However, therapy is expensive, and they didn’t provide Owen the assistance he needed beyond the clinical office setting. In the waiting room for one of these therapies, Owen’s mother found an alternative solution: The Red Barn. 

After a bit of research, Owen’s mother determined The Red Barn was the ideal place for Owen to grow and to feel secure. She desperately wanted her son to feel the joy of bonding with animals and new people, and she knew this would open new feelings in Owen’s heart. Unfortunately, Owen’s family was already paying so much for other therapies that they could only afford for him to come to The Red Barn on a scholarship. It took more than two years on the waitlist, but eventually a space in the riding program opened up for Owen. 

Since he began riding in June 2019, Owen has made incredible progress in many different ways. His core muscles have gotten much stronger, which improves his posture, coordination, and balance. Owen’s mom also noticed that her son no longer puts his shoes on the wrong feet. She mentioned this change in behavior to one of Owen’s therapists, and he responded that the change is likely due to Owen’s sensory input needs being met through riding and other activities at the barn. 

Owen has also learned how to better accept change in his life from his time at the barn. During his first two riding terms, Owen exclusively rode Zeus and was not receptive to riding other horses. However, a new horse named Buzz finished his trial period training and was ready to step into The Red Barn’s riding program by January 2020. Sylvie, Owen’s instructor, determined that Buzz’s movement would be more beneficial both for developing Owen’s core muscles, and in being more flexible with the “go with the flow” nature of Owen’s lessons. 

Owen quickly bonded with Buzz, and the transition went so smoothly that it surprised even his mom. Owen demonstrated his deep appreciation of his new friend by intentionally wearing Buzz Lightyear shirts to the barn. However, Owen would pointedly ignore Zeus whenever he walked past his pasture. His mom mentioned that Owen had trouble accepting when people he had been close to moved away or were unable to be around as frequently. He would ignore these friends and family members after they had been absent, which often strained those relationships. Sylvie and Owen’s mom discussed his detachment from Zeus, and brainstormed ways to help rebuild the relationship. They wanted Owen to understand that though he wasn’t currently riding Zeus, the horse with whom he first bonded was still his friend. 

To help Owen reach this realization, Sylvie and Owen’s team of volunteers would make a big show of waving and speaking to Zeus with a fond, “Hello!”  whenever they walked by him. They would also make sure to give two peppermint treats to horses at the end of Owen’s lesson. One went to Buzz of course, and for the first couple of weeks the other went to Buzz’s best equine friend, Woody. Sylvie explained that although Buzz and Woody weren’t currently spending time together, that Buzz would be happy knowing his best buddy was also getting a treat. 

After those initial weeks, Sylvie started allowing Owen to choose who would get the other peppermint. He eventually chose to give Zeus the treat on two occasions. He also started waving with the rest of his team whenever they passed Zeus’s pasture, illustrating a regard for his former riding companion. 

Owen’s mom is overjoyed with the progress her son is making. Yet she is happiest that Owen has a place where he can be himself and connect with animals and people, and that his instructors are always willing to listen to his needs and adjust to what best suits him. His mom says visiting the barn is “the favorite part of my week, driving to a place where people love my kid and it’s just peaceful. You couldn’t be in a more healing environment.”

 

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Future Videographer

Others may see his physical and behavioral differences, but we see how far Jackson has come because of The Red Barn. Jackson was born with Cerebral Palsy after he suffered a brain hemorrhage and stroke during his birth. Doctors said he would never walk or talk. Later, he was also diagnosed with Autism and struggled with grief after losing his mother at age 5. Therapy at The Red Barn has helped him with all of that. His motor skills, core strength, balance, and communication skills have all improved.               – Jackson’s adoptive mom, Leah

He arrives at the barn with a smile on his face. He runs to the board to see who Miss Sylvie has him riding that day. His name is Jackson and he has a passion for filming. 

Fortunately, The Red Barn is able to incorporate his love of filming into his lessons. The barn’s videographer will often stand in the middle of the arena filming as Jackson completes each task. He asks to view the video after every task, but his instructor tells him that he must wait to see the video until the end. It serves as motivation to complete each task. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jackson works hard doing everything the instructors and volunteers ask him to do. His overall health has improved, but he has also improved as a rider. Jackson has learned how to retrieve stuffed animals during riding games, as well as how to maintain concentration while riding. His increase in stamina shows, as well, as he trots around the arena. When he finishes each lesson, he has a huge smile on his face as he finally gets to watch the videos from his lesson. 

In addition, The Red Barn has helped Jackson emotionally. When one of the horses, Red Flight, passed away, Jackson learned a new way to deal with grief. The instructors and volunteers were able to teach him that even though Red Flight was gone, we are able live on with the sweet memories we have of him. This was a pivotal moment for Jackson, as he could relate it to his mother’s death. 

The best part about Jackson’s time at The Red Barn is that he has no idea that it is therapeutic! During sessions, he exerts all his efforts into doing his best which he usually doesn’t do for other therapy sessions. The results evident to his parents are cause for great joy. 

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Confidence and Coincidences

Liliana- Not Afraid

Liliana has been in physical and occupational therapy since she was three. It took her two years to walk on a 1.5 inches high balance beam because she was so scared of falling. This fear translated to the barn, where she was hesitant to ride during her first lesson. She soon mounted Blue, though, and relaxed almost immediately.

Over time, Liliana has become fearless. She looks forward to her lesson every week and can’t wait to get back on the horse. Her mom, Rebecca, said she is so relaxed that you would think she has been riding for years. The barn gives Liliana a sense of connection and peace. When she is at the barn, she is no longer stressed or afraid. 

This confidence has translated to other parts of Liliana’s life. For example, going to the dentist used to be a traumatic experience for her. Since she has been riding, she no longer has meltdowns at the dentist or the doctor’s office. She now has the confidence and bravery to make it through new, intimidating experiences. Liliana is also willing to try more things in physical therapy. She understands and accepts more challenges. 

Liliana has responded very well to her instructors, and to the fact that her instructor has changed several times over the years! Their patience and encouragement has helped her understand that she can do anything she puts her mind to. 

Rammy- Transformed!

When Liliana’s riding lessons were moved to a different day of the week, her mom, Rebecca, was excited to meet some of the other Red Barn families. On the first Saturday of term, Rebecca approached the barn and found that it wasn’t all strangers. A woman was staring at her – a woman who looked oddly familiar.

“This may sound weird to you, but did we meet at a Target?”

Both women laughed as they realized the connection. Nearly five years prior, the two had met in the baby clothes section of a local Target. At the time, both were shopping for the adopted babies who would soon be coming home with them. They chatted for a while about their excitement, thrilled at the random opportunity to get to share it with a stranger who understood. Eventually, however, the two moms-to-be parted ways to continue their shopping. They did not expect to see each other ever again. 

Rebecca formally introduced herself to Kimberly, whose son Rammy was also taking lessons at The Red Barn. They caught up while their children rode, unaware of how their two stories collided. Rebecca and Kimberly marveled at the way The Red Barn was able to act as so much more than a riding facility for their families; it provided a unique sense of community and support, as well.  

As for Rammy, he developed stronger confidence, communication skills, and focus riding at The Red Barn.  He also improved his core strength and muscle tone. 

“I sincerely believe in the physical and cognitive benefits of riding because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. The barn has transformed his life. I don’t know what we would do without it!”

  • Rammy’s mom, Kimberly

 

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She Lived

The Accident

On January 10th, 2009, we came home from the baby shower for my son. Someone had left a loaded gun in their vehicle. When they tried to remove it, it dry fired. It went through the seat and the door when my daughter Hailey Grace was walking around the side of the car. She was hit on impact with shrapnel from the bullet. The doctors told us she wouldn’t live through the night. That day is now known as ‘Hailey Grace Day’ because she did. She lived.

  • Hailey Grace’s mom, Christy

In the blink of an eye, Christy Leslie went from having a typical child to having one who is legally blind, cognitively impaired, and suffering from PTSD. After the accident, Hailey Grace was forced to re-learn everyday activities most people take for granted; she spent months in the hospital learning how to walk, talk, and eat. She also struggled to find adequate therapeutic opportunities. Hailey Grace graduated from her occupational therapy program because there was “nothing more they could do” for her physical and speech impairments. The Red Barn not only offers physical benefits, but also a sense of comfort and hope that traditional therapies cannot. 

 

 

She LIVED, and Now She Rides

Being at The Red Barn has given Hailey Grace confidence and autonomy, on top of the physical benefits. Hailey Grace’s instructor pushes her to do things because she knows she is capable. She makes her clip on the reins and buckle the saddle’s girth underneath the horse, which strengthens Hailey Grace’s right-sided weakness. She has also learned the meaning of cause-and-effect; if she doesn’t do what she’s supposed to do, then she’s not going to get to do what she wants to do: ride horses. 

Hailey Grace loves The Red Barn so much that she even created a braille calendar so that she can count down the days until her next riding lesson, which are marked on the calendar with a sticker. 

The Leslie family now celebrates the anniversary of Hailey Grace’s accident with cupcakes and happiness. They don’t want the memory to haunt Hailey Grace and tear her down, but rather to empower her. They want Hailey Grace to look back on the day and remember it as “the day God decided that I was going to live and I was going to prove to everybody that I could do anything.” The Red Barn has helped Hailey Grace find the ability, both physically and emotionally, to prove that.