I have the privilege of assisting a horse riding program, which empowers children with physical and mental disabilities. Apart from the utter joy these amazing human beings experience when they come into contact with a majestic animal and wide open spaces, they get 100% benefit from participating in something, which I find truly magical to watch.
The riding actually open’s their pelvis, which heightens the serotonin production. Their moods improve almost instantly and have a long lasting effect. Getting on a horse, not only gives a child, bound to a wheelchair, the freedom of movement, but it increases overall body strength with emphasis on the core… better yet, if more strength is needed they get to ride backwards, which is an absolute hoot, especially when the pony gets cheeky and decides to bounce it’s back. The 2 side walking assistants, the horse leader and the coach all scurry with worry to try and control the pony who is playfully playing up, while the child on the pony’s back laughs even harder the rougher the ride gets.
I am blessed. I started my day with this activity, which to me is priceless. There were two things I needed to watch out for though; 1. I am an underearner and volunteer work is not exactly a solution to that & 2. My codependent tendencies find me saying yes to everything, simply out of the need to be needed – and being needed is inevitable in a volunteer program. I am proud of myself, because I managed to put boundaries in this time. The boundaries were that I would piggy back the session off the end of a night shift I do, so there are no extra fuel expenses and I was clear on the hours I am available to help, so that I actually have time to do jobs, which I can earn an income from. These two little things really took the experience of volunteering from being amazing, but still found me sitting on the fence as to whether I could commit or not – To absolutely exhilarating & fulfilling and something that I wouldn’t give up for the world!!!
Boundaries for the win!!!