704.841.0602 ridewithus@miteyriders.org

 

 

Quotes from Riders, Parents and Volunteers

We love our Mitey Riders family! Every Saturday is the highlight of our week! Riding Chuck has been so beneficial on so many levels for Johnny.  He is organizing his thoughts more and speaking more clearly all while gaining strength and stretching! He also gets to feel so proud of himself and he loves all the volunteers, especially Harry!

The Powlis Family

A Mitey Riders Family

We cannot begin to thank you for this program.  In a year Gabe has gotten so much stronger in his core and we have seen an increase in his confidence.  Without the volunteers who make this happen, we know he would never had made these strides.

The Sprenger Family

A Mitey Rider Family

We have seen so much postive growth from Ezra this year! His speech and his ability to follow directions are both improving.  Mitey Riders is an amazing program! Ezra loves it and our family is so grateful he has this opportunity!

The LaMountain Family

A Mitey Rider Family

“I cannot tell you how much riding has changed Kai’s life. She is filled with more confidence than she had four years ago when she first started. And the improvements in her body are endless. Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times.”

–Tracy Watkins

Parent of a Mitey Rider

I can truly say that Mitey Riders has been a life changing experience for Tristan. In addition to the obvious improvement in motor control, coordination and muscle strength, the growth that is most evident is his self-confidence and assurance of his ability on ‘his’ horse. The independent classes have given Tristan the opportunity to bond with his horse and understand the care and attention horses require (and deserve)! When Tristan tells people that he ‘rides horse’ they can’t believe it. He is so proud of the fact that he can do something that the average person does not do. Harry and Marilyn had a vision that has served, and continues to serve so many families whose children would never have an opportunity to grow from the experience of riding a horse. It is through their dedication and constant work that makes this program one of the best in the country. Of course without the staff, Joy, and those too numerous to mention, this program would never exist. Their commitment and constant work with the horses and children is invaluable. We are so blessed that we are part of the Mitey Riders family. Thank you to each and every one at Mitey Riders for the wonderful gift you have given Tristan.”

–Lisa Kallander

Parent of a Mitey Rider

Mitey Riders has provided an opportunity for Emmett to participate in an activity that would not have otherwise been possible. After hearing every expert tell our family we were wasting our time on speech therapy and other ‘novelty’ approaches to attain viable communication with our son, Joy put him on a horse – and that was the end of that. His first session, atop Michael, he watched Joy for 2 minutes as she instructed him how to steer – and the bond between Emmett, Michael, and Joy was immediate. I cried tears of joy and disbelief as I watched my little boy’s world open up in a matter of moments. His second session, as he raised his hands and felt the cedars brush over his fingertips he exclaimed, ‘Tah Dah!’ I knew right then and there this was the door opening for Emmett. Days may go by where Emmett seems lost in his own world, but once he is on a horse he is a different boy. Mitey Riders has given him a place where he can just be. As i sit here in my Mitey Riders sweatshirt and cap, I can’t help but be amazed at how lucky we are.”

–Heather Lopina

Parent of a Mitey Rider

“From the moment I entered the gates for the first time, I knew this was a very special place. It is a place of hope, and one that I am proud to be a part of. I look forward to volunteering every week for the simple fact that it takes me out of my life, and allows me to graciously enter the lives of others that are benefiting from the MR program.”

–Laurie Schoenfelt

Volunteer

“This program has been and will continue to be a bright spot in Hailey’s life. She has made great strides and looks forward to every Thursday when she can ride her ‘Princess Pony!’”

–Amanda & Rob Gasiewski

Parents of a Mitey Rider

“Volunteering at Mitey Riders has enriched and changed me personally. Anyone who is involved with this program is deeply touched by what they see, and it totally changes your perspective about people with disabilities. It never ceases to amaze me, when I look at the children in this program, I realize that their parents have a life long commitment to them and know that they must be their advocate for that child’s life. It is a good feeling knowing that everyone involved understands that the ‘kids come first’ and everything else is secondary.”

–Eileen Kane

Volunteer for over 10 years

Our family is so thankful for this opportunity to be a part of Mitey Riders.  Addison loves to come ride Chuck each week.  It has been exciting to see her matur thoughout the year.  We have been impressed with Joy, Harry, Pam and all the volunteers who strive for excellence and you can see they LOVE what they do each week and that this is their passion.  As a parent that means my child is their passion and it is soothing to the soul for parents to have their children here.  Happy 20 years!

The Elkins Family

A Mitey Riders Family

The Mitey Riders program is like a second family for Denni.  She has made lifetime friends here.  She has learned to follow instructions, to respect and love horses, and has gained strength and balance. She is happy to have time independent from Mom.  She loves this place!

The Walter Family

A Mitey Rider Family

We appreciate this program beyond words.  Our son lights up each week when we tell him it is time to go ride his horse. His core strength and time attending to task have increased in just the past two years.  To the volunteers and Swimmer family we could never express our immense gratitude for this program.

The Vaughn Family

A Mitey Rider Family

Since beginning with Mitey Riders at age 5, Lindsey has seen both physical and personal benefits. As a child born with Spina Bifida, she has never walked without the aid of orthotics and a walker or crutches. Riding allows her to be equipment-free yet moves her hips and legs in a natural motion otherwise impossible to experience. Additionally, her sense of balance has been challenged and improved over the years. The program has given Lindsey confidence, freedom, and a sense of accomplishment. The interaction with Harry, the staff, volunteers, other riders and their parents has completed the sense of community every child needs to feel accepted. Keep up the good work!”

Mary Good

Parent of a Mitey Rider

Working here has been nothing but blessings for me, and hopefully for the riders! I have been able to use a lot of my teaching skills, and in several cases, my knowledge of American Sign Language! One of the most wonderful things about working here, is establishing long lasting relationships with the riders and their families! You also see so much growth? – one of ‘mine’ is now riding independently! Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children is priceless, and the hugs, well, who wouldn’t want those!!!! The program is full of LOVE!”

–Linda Dowdle

Volunteer for over 10 years

“Mitey Riders has given me the opportunity to use my professional skills along with my knowledge of horses to enrich the lives of children with disabilities. I have seen so much growth in these children and it really has improved their quality of life. The whole family changes when a child becomes more independent or improves their communication skills all because of Equine Therapy. The look on their faces and the families is priceless. Harry and Molly have hearts larger than anyone else’s to open up their home week after week to help change lives.”

–Lynn Kuhn

Volunteer for over 10 years

Being able to be around and actually ride horses has had a profound effect on Elizabeth. She loves the horses and the people that have challenged her abilities and given her encouragement and confidence. Riding has given her strength in her core, arms and legs … that she might NEVER have gotten, because nothing else holds her attention like this. She doesn’t realize the workout she is getting when she rides!!”

–Kathy Leahy

Parent of a Mitey Rider

[Working with Mitey Riders has offered me] benefits such as the exercise, fresh air and natural beauty of the Misty Meadows farm. But the greatest benefit is getting rebalanced and re-centered. [My favorite aspect of Mitey Riders is] every now and then getting to see and share in a miracle. Getting to know some truly wonderful people. Learning from horses what it means to be gentle, sensitive, and humble. Where else can one be so rewarded for doing so little?” –Sam Bullard

Volunteer for over 10 years

Morgan has been riding for at least 8 years, and although actual riding time is about one hour each time, his thoughts and conversation throughout the week revolve around this program. His self worth has soared! His conversation and verbal skills have increased beyond our expectations. His balance and core strength have improved 100%. While being asked to perform several tasks, he responds to 2 and 3 part commands without hesitation. He has gained great freedom and an even bigger heart through the program and special folks he has bonded with. Many thanks for adding this dimension to our lives as a family.”

–Alice and Riley Grier

Parents of a Mitey Rider