Judith had always loved riding horses and caring for them. So much so that she owned her own horse and ran a barn for several years. After her second hip replacement at the age of 54, Judith said it nearly broke her heart when she found she could no longer ride due to limitations of motion and stiffness from arthritis. Five years later, Judith contacted High Hopes Therapeutic Riding to ask if they could help her solve her problem and get her back on a horse.
Today Judith not only rides, she thrives! “I walk, trot and canter and I’m a better rider today than I was before my hip replacements,” she said. “My instructor Lauren pushes me and gets me to do things I never thought I could do. I believe one of the most respectful things you can do for someone with a disability is to treat them as if their learning is unlimited.”
The benefits of therapeutic riding have not only improved Judith’s balance, coordination and posture, it also has increased her self-confidence.
“I recently had some unexpected life changes that were devastating, and the staff and horses at High Hopes helped get me through the experience. I appreciate having had the opportunity to heal my spirit and can now return the kindness.”
When she’s not riding, Judith volunteers in the office or uses her artistic talent to create welcome signs for High Hopes visitors. And some days she brings horses from the paddock to the barn and grooms them. “To know that I’m entrusted to care for a High Hopes horse is something that’s very precious.”
You can read more about High Hopes and Judith in the March/April issue of Connecticut Horse Magazine.