Bridget, age 10, was born with a brain lesion that has resulted in severe cognitive, developmental and physical delays. Her muscle tone can be very low, which affects her posture and lower body strength. While riding her horse, “Scarlet,” Bridget’s stature is markedly improved as she guides the horse with authority and confidence. While riding, she does exercises that she resists in a traditional clinical setting, such as sit - ups and leg presses. Her physical therapist reports that she has become a stronger girl and continues to meet progressively more difficult goals thanks, in no small part, to her weekly therapeutic riding lessons. Bridget’s mother marvels at the fact that, “The joy and pleasure in being on the back of the horse overshadows the fact that she’s working."
Because of her disability, Bridget would get easily overwhelmed in social settings in her everyday life, especially in a big classroom setting. Giant Steps has provided Bridget with a small, manageable environment in which to socialize. As a consequence, she has made her very first friend at Giant Steps. Each week she and her friend do vaulting exercises and encourage each other to push themselves further and further.
Bridget knows how to vault and even helps teach others how to vault on their horses. “That’s my sport,” she confidently states. Riding horses at Giant Steps has given Bridget a newfound confidence her mom marvels she never before dreamed possible.