Meet Bubbles. This Bubbles is a pony-an adorable Shetland gelding who, along with many other saints in equine form, work tirelessly every day to enrich the lives of disabled children. He is part of a therapeutic riding program in Lake Forest, Illinois, at which I’ve volunteered nearly every Saturday for over a year.
What Equestrian Connection Does
Equestrian Connection was cofounded in 2001 by a mother of disabled twins to fill the voids in social services and therapies for those with disabilities. Our original focus was hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. In 2005 we broadened our vision to add art therapy, massage therapy and equine assisted psycho therapy for those with disabilities and their families.
Equestrian Connection has now grown to serve over 220 individuals weekly and works in conjunction with numerous community and academic based organizations that serve those with disabilities.
Most of the hard work is done by eighteen tireless horses and ponies and a constantly growing number of volunteers. But horses, bless their hearts, are expensive little beasties. Several of the riders also need financial assistance in these difficult times to continue these life-altering programs.
Beyond helping kids, EC also helps horses. I was told that this mare, Shiloh, was abandoned in a field before coming to EC! One of the first horses in the program, she continues to help out even at the ripe old age of 24. Several of the horses in our program (including Bubbles himself) suffer from health problems that require ongoing management and might not otherwise have a home.
How to help: you can make a $10 tax-deductable donation here and “light a light” at the barn this holiday season. All money will go towards the care of the horses, barn, and other things required to keep things going! If you’d like to donate a different amount (even $1!), you can go here and put whatever you want in the box at the bottom.
Much love and many thanks,
-Amber, author of ILikeBubbles and kisser of Shiloh noses