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At 8 months my daughter Devin was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. At age 3 ½  the physical therapist we were working with suggested we look into Equest.  At the time I could not even get Devin to ride “Sandy” the penny pony at Meijer and could not imagine her on a real horse, but was willing to check it out.  I called Equest and arranged a time for us to visit and observe a lesson.   I was amazed at the number of volunteers working with the students in the arena.  In that particular class there were 4 students, each with a leader and 2 side walkers.  After the class the director asked Devin if she would like to sit on the horse.  Much to my surprise she said yes.  After sitting there a minute he asked her if she wanted to ride the horse around the arena, and again she said yes.  She rode around the arena once looking a little nervous.  The second time around she began to smile a little.  By the third time around she was smiling from ear to ear. At that point we were both sold on the program.   In the next years Devin went from a surcingle to a western saddle, to independent riding in an English saddle.  She went from a very shy little girl to a confident young lady.  The improvement in her balance, leg strength, self confidence and even her speech has been amazing.  She now even volunteers before her lessons and attends camp at least 2 weeks in the summers.  I truly believe the improvement we have seen in Devin physically, mentally, and even socially is due to the therapy she has received through Equest.

Kay Cariano, Parent of Equest Rider

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