Brian began riding at Saddle Up! when he was 6 years old and “irascible”. His instructor, Tina, describes him as the “most charming young man I have ever known”. Brian celebrated his 19th birthday in early February and he will graduate from the program in May 2016.
Down Syndrome children have one thing in common – they can be stubborn. But little by little this little boy turned into an amazing young man as well as a beautiful rider. He tries so hard to please and is always concerned about his fellow riders. If someone needs help grooming his/her horse, Brian is there. If excess tack needs to be put away for another rider, he does it without complaining. These selfless traits earned him the Sportsmanship Award at our Annual Meeting.
Essentially Brian has grown up in the family of the Saddle Up! riders and instructors and, of course, the horses which are the heart of the program. The Saddle Up! children can leave behind a world of special classes, tutors, doctors and hospitals – even for just a while. Riding a horse creates a three-dimensional movement that even the most state-of-the-art equipment cannot duplicate.
Through the years, Brian has gradually increased his riding skills to the point that he is riding independently. Imagine the pride when he won two gold medals and a silver medal at our horse show.
Tina shared, “I will feel like I’m losing one of my own children when Brian graduates as we have been together so long. His parents and siblings have done a wonderful job preparing him for the next phase of his life which, unfortunately, will not be under my wing at Saddle Up”!
At Small Miracles, Callie has instructors, mentors and most of all friends who make her feel safe, loved, accepted and important. In a world all about what kids like Callie cannot do, Small Miracles is the place all about what these special kids CAN do.