"Our son Henry is a veteran rider who has participated in hippotherapy with Exceptional Equestrians since he was 22 months old.
When Henry started with Exceptional Equestrians, he could not sit independently. Some might wonder why we would even consider putting a child who could not sit on his own on the back of a horse. The truth is, we were desperate. We had been working on sitting for months and had been warned that if Henry did not sit by age two, he might never sit. Lisa Kafka assured us that he would be safe and the first few times he rode, she sat behind him. However, within the first half-dozen sessions he didn’t need that anymore because he was able to sit independently on the horse AND at home!
Hippotherapy is the one therapeutic opportunity Henry has that does not seem like work. Don't misunderstand…if you ever have an opportunity to ride one of the Exceptional Equestrians therapy horses, you will see that it is most definitely hard work. However, when Henry rides, he is so excited that he does not even realize that he has just worked his entire body harder in 30 minutes than most of us do in an entire day.
Even after fifteen years of seeing children far more involved than my child ride, I still find it truly amazing. I believe it speaks to the power and motivation of the horse."
5-year-old Michael was referred to Exceptional Equestrians by his Kewaunee County Birth to Three therapist and has been riding with us for more than three years.
His parents consider hippotherapy “a miracle.”
According to his father, Rob, when he started Michael couldn’t sit up independently and spent much of each day crying and agitated.
Almost immediately upon starting hippohterapy, Michael became increasingly content in his day-to-day life and could sit independently within months.
Being non-verbal does not stop Michael from expressing how much he loves to ride. In fact, he recently received a saddle for Christmas and immediately began tapping it – the universal sign for “walk on!”
"Because of hippotherapy, we were able to take a family vacation.
Before coming to Exceptional Equestrians, we never would have had been able to try a trip on an airplane. Because of improvements Arthur has made in his strength and posture, we were confident he could make the trip.
It was a great success! We flew to Nevada, and Arthur got to see the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam."