Friday, May 31, 2013

JACOB'S FUND: Expansion dreams come true!

Glenna greeting Amazzing, one of the therapy horses

That’s right.You read the title correctly. 
The Red Thread Promise is standing on the threshold of a brand-new relationship with a PATH certified hippotherapy center in southwestern Ohio! While we will continue working with the kids and staff of McKenna Farms, our long-term partners in Georgia, The Red Thread team has longed to provide hippotherapy and therapeutic riding to children in other areas. Now, we are making that dream a reality.

Recently, Glenna (Jacob’s Fund Director) and Sonya (TRTP VP) traveled to Hilltop Equestrian Center in beautiful rural Ohio. Less than an hour’s drive from many of the more populated cities and towns in the area, Hilltop is staffed with AHA certified therapists who are ready to work with our children. During our conversation, we quickly established that both organizations share many common goals and basic principles, agreeing that:
  • Hippotherapy and therapeutic riding opens the door to new worlds for youngsters with disabilities; and
  • A family’s economic circumstance should not prevent a child from receiving therapy. 
It was the start of something beautiful.

One wing of Hilltop's stables

Glenna, Jacob's Fund Director, and the Hilltop staff
Jim Hazelwood, Program and Events Director at Hilltop, and Amy Day, Master of Physical Therapy, guided the tour through the facility as we discussed practical matters such as: 
  • how often hippotherapy is offered
  • how many children receive therapy
  • how many therapy horses are in use
  • how long sessions are and associated costs
  • their therapist qualifications; and  
  • the certifications of the facility.
One of Hilltops littlest riders during hippotherapy
The indoor arena
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, providing services like this goes far beyond the technical aspects. We were eager to hear what Hilltop does for families as a whole. With a goal of enriching all family members’ lives, a pre-screening consultation is required for entry into any Hilltop program so that staff can get to know not only the child receiving therapy, but the family also. Hilltop also provides numerous programs for other family members including adults, teens and typically developing siblings in addition to therapy services. 

When we left, Hilltop welcomed The Red Thread Promise to visit, observe, take photos and interview staff, children, and families anytime.  

Learning horsemanship

This was music to our ears as we do our best to share the progress of the children we support with you. In an upcoming post, you’ll meet Kyle, the first child Jacob's Fund will be sponsoring at Hilltop. Stay tuned and be prepared to fall in love with this precious little boy!

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