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Charlie’s confidence grows

When Charlie first came to Fieldstone about 16 years ago, he came by stroller, tagging along as his mom, Megan, attended meetings as a volunteer for our annual Hay Day fundraiser. He was so young at the time, she didn’t know he would one day be a candidate for lessons.

Flash forward to today and Charlie, who has autism, rides every Tuesday as his mom looks on. “It really came full circle for us,” says Megan. “I just love seeing him so happy on a horse.”

She understands this joy. She used to ride and knows first-hand how fun it can be while at the same time helping to build strength and confidence, as well as a meaningful bond with such a large animal.

“Charlie’s doing amazing,” according to Megan. Riding has not only given him independence and confidence, it has helped his posture and ability to follow directions. When his instructor asks him to turn left or right with his horse or put his heels down, he knows exactly what to do. And while his verbal communication is somewhat limited, he knows all the horse commands like whoa, walk on, and trot. He is working on his posting trot and hopes to become an even more independent rider very soon.

This past summer Charlie attended our summer camp and Megan, who teaches yoga at a studio nearby, volunteered as a yoga instructor for the kids when they weren’t riding. They loved it and she plans on coming back this summer. Participating at the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic horse show this summer was a highlight of Charlie’s year, as he earned two ribbons on his favorite horse, Frankie. Way to go, Charlie!