Stable Spirit is a local non-profit that provides all types of therapy including hippotherapy, for local children with disabilities. But the clients are not the only ones overcoming difficulties to improve their quality of life, some of the horses are too.
Most of the horses used in the hippotherapy sessions at Stable Spirit are rescues and each one has a story. But one horse in particular, who despite recently becoming blind in one eye, has overcome his disability. And because of that, he creates a special bond with the children he works with.
Part of the magic of Stable Spirit lies with the horses. All of which have been rescued or adopted, nurtured back to health and taught that people actually can be trusted. CD is one of those horses. The 27-year-old quarter horse was on loan to Stable Spirit when he had an accident.
Executive Director of Stable Spirit, Katie Durio explains, "Something poked in his eye. We think it might've been a piece of straw or something like that. It could have been a branch. We don't know."
The vet and volunteers at Stable Spirit treated the wound, but it did not get better. Durio says, "And so by January, he (the veterinarian) realizes he needed to take the eye because it was actually deteriorating."
But CD's spirit did not deteriorate, even though he had to make adjustments to his new situation. Durio says, "Horses do see different objects. So he really had to adjust to learned that he could not see on the left side."
In the Spring, 12News was shooting another story and one of the clients CD had been working with, was on another horse. CD was in a paddock next to the arena and he actually kicked a panel of the fence off. Durio says, "As we see it, I want to work. I'm ready to go back and that very next week, we put him back to work and put the kids back on him and he's in his element. He is just loving being back to work doing his job; what he's supposed to be."
The horse bonds with all his clients like five year old Brianna Loftin who has epilepsy. She's been coming to Stable Spirit for two months and her mother has seen a vast improvement. Kimberly Loftin explains the difference saying, "Anything a little stressful can make her have seizures and when we started coming out here, they have dropped off as maybe once every three weeks, instead of three or four times a week she was having seizures."
As Durio explains, the bonds between the children and CD are undeniable, "And immediately that child starts bonding and being caring and just so much more nurturing because it's like they understand that horse understands what they've been through."
And CD shows the children something else too, Durio says, "You can still be useful and you can still have a lot of purpose no matter what."
CD currently works with seven clients. In total Stable Spirit currently has 15 horses including CD and nine of them are working with a total of 27 clients.