TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Many of us can claim a special bond with an animal or pet, but did you know that bond can help with certain disabilities?
Christian chattered on and on about being Wolverine for Halloween at school on Friday.
It's hard to believe he barely spoke 3 years ago. And now he can't seem to stop talking.
He's just one of the success stories at Bright Hope Riders.
"One of our students was mute. It wasn't that he couldn't talk, he wouldn't talk. He had a mental difficulty where he wouldn't talk. He had only said a couple words in his life and he was about five years old. And we got him out here one day, and he had gone here for several weeks. We got him out there and we go round barrels, get different colored barrels, and I told him to take his horse over there to the green barrel. And he just as plainly said, green barrel. And there wasn't a dry eye in the place," said Dr. Jerry Mansfield, owner of Bright Hope Riders.
Bright Hope Riders is non-profit organization that helps people with special needs.
He said there's a certain bond between a horse and its rider.
"They're all a-jitter in the car. When they get here and they walk up to the barn, a little bit of it's gone, and then they see the horses and all of those things seem to drop away. They get on the horses and all of those things seem to drop away. They get on the horse and they sing songs and they do all sorts of wonderful things," said Dr. Mansfield.
Mansfield said that bond helps people with mental and physical disabilities.
He picks each horse specifically for each rider.
"It's really a joy to work with them and to see them progress and it really does help. It really does," said Dr. Mansfield.
You can contact Bright Hope Riders or make a donation at their website .
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