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Hi my name is Ethan and I am 10 years old. At the age of 1 was diagnosed with Hypotonia, lack of muscle tone, in my trunk and Hypertonia, excessive muscle tone in my arms and legs. For the last nine years I have received Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and pool Therapy. My Mom and Dad have seen great increases in my mobility. When I was yrs old  I started Therapeutic Riding at Victory Reins. This type of therapy will help me gain strength in my trunk and overall muscle endurance. The increased trunk strength and muscle endurance helps my everyday functioning like improving my posture for sitting up tall while playing and improving my coordination for other play activities like coloring or catch. The therapy also provides a prolonged stretch for my tight muscles. 

The first time I rode at Victory Reins the staff was very patient with me. They allowed me plenty of time to warm up to the horses and let me start with a pony named Ollie. I got to pet Ollie's tail and feed him a carrot. I was still very unsure of getting on the pony so one of the Victory Reins volunteers rode the pony, Ollie so that I could see what it would be like. I was still scared when mommy put me on the pony but after Ollie took 2 steps I was hooked! 

I have had lessons at Victory Reins for years  now and Mommy will tell you, it's all I talk about. I don't hesitate at all when it's my turn to get on the horse. By my third time there I was so confident on the pony that I got to start riding the big horses. I am so proud that I ride the big horses I tell everyone about it. 

The Victory Reins staff has taught me how to give the horse verbal cues like walk on, whoa, and trot on. I also know the names of several pieces of equipment and what they are for including the bridal, reins, saddle, and stirrups. While on the horse I perform different stretching activities like touching the horses ears or tail. There are also many fun games that I get to play while I'm on the horse. Mommy says the Victory Reins staff are very creative.

I just competed in my first riding competition at the 2014 Equestrian Special Olympics, in the Therapeutic Riding Class and got a first place medal. My whole family was there to support me along with my Victory Reins family! I love the people at Victory Reins and can't wait to see them each week!



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