Friday, December 16, 2011

Horses in My Garden

Over a several year period, starting about eight years ago, when I had to spend a lot of time in the hospital, I had to find good, loving homes for all of my horses and other animals. All of my animals played a big part in ANIMO, as well as playing a large part in my life and that of my children. The loss of my animals was almost as hard as or harder than learning to live with a terrible disfigurement and a terminal disease. Since I started riding again over two years ago, thanks to the kindness of Loli Berenguel in Almería, my health has improved considerably and so has my life. After a lot of investigation, Loli and I have been able to develop a therapy that removes the side effects of medication and seems to slow down the progression of the illness. The only drawback for me was that I had to travel almost an hour each way to get to my therapy. Now thanks to my friends at Cadi Moxeroi and another participant in our therapy investigation who started out as a volunteer to take me to my riding therapy, I now have two horses at home. Now I am able to ride every day which has improved my blood analysis drastically plus my mental and physical state. Just spending time with the horses has improved my whole outlook on life and the way I live it. If it hadn’t of been for the encouragement of my husband, children and a few special friends, I probably wouldn’t have been here today to write this. Now I have so much to look forward to every day and I am living every day as fully as possibly.
The photograph was taken a few days ago, just before Christmas, in my garden.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Graduate students from Gallaudet University, Washington DC, come to ANIMO to learn about therapeutic riding and other animal assisted therapies

During the summer we had four students from Gallaudet, all graduate students in Education or Mental Health. We all had a fantastic time as they learned everything from being a groom and riding lessons to helping train horses for therapy. We also went over the benefits of therapeutic riding and the different special needs it can benefit. It was a great opportunity for me to learn ASL (American Sign Language) and practice it. It has been proven that in many learning disabilities, if they can have visual and auditory stimulus, they are able to take in and understand more so the sign language was a big help for me in my work at ANIMO. The students all worked or were studying in different fields of Mental Health within the deaf community and felt that therapeutic riding would be very useful for everything from abused children and women to autism. Megan had a one month intensive course for which she earned a certificate and became a valuable member of out team and family.

P.S. Megan—I’m still waiting for your essay on your time here and what you learned and liked about Spain and AAT. We want you to come back soon. We miss you.

Megan and I developed a special relationship and shared so many laughs and experiences including a very funny last supper. Now we have horses at home and are starting a new project on therapeutic riding and infantile cancer for a presentation in May of next year to the National Child Cancer Association Congress. I could use your organization skills and a big hug. Mima

(Heh! I was just able to sign this last paragraph)