Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Great Equalizer

When Emma Sage was a baby, I remember listening to the Mother of a young adult with Down syndrome. She was talking about her daughters experiences in life, and one thing really stood out. She said that she always tried to interest her daughter in activities that were 'Great Equalizers'.

For her daughter, it seemed that water was the great equalizer. In the pool, her daughter swam like a fish and competed with both typically developing and differently-abled peers. The water was the equalizer. Her daughter also rode horses, and this was another area that the Mother said her daughter was able to participate and compete with typical peers.

I do believe that Emma Sage has found her nitch. She loves to ride. Her riding instructor [who is a phenomenal woman] said that she is just so delighted, because Emma Sage listens [as well or better] than typical six-year-olds and that her intent and focus is wonderful. She only has to explain things once or twice and Emma Sage picks right up on it and is able to execute the commands when requested.

We were blessed a few years ago to have access to [and share] a pony with a little girl that lives near by [except the pony's were kept at a farm about a half hour from here] through a program called 'Personal Ponies'. The little girl moved away last year [and so did the ponies] so we have not had the 'whenever you want to groom or ride opportunity' We are truly blessed that my neighbor down the lane [the one with all the wonderful animal pictures I share in our day to day outings] adores Emma Sage and allows her to visit with the animals anytime she wants [we are like the only people that she allows to do this] and she is going to be riding with Ms. Bonnie weekly.

So I decided that since this is an area that Emma Sage has the greatest of attention and desire, I would contact Personal Ponies myself. We are waiting on paperwork, but it looks like from the note I got from the National Director, we might be sporting a pair of ponies here that Emma Sage can take care of...feed, groom [her most favorite thing to do is brush a horse] and ride everyday.

Ah, the Great Equalizer.

Here are some pictures I took from last week....enjoy!

I love this picture........standing on the bucket to get up higher to brush!



Yup, she is still sporting a plumbers butt!!!!!


Moments like this just melt my heart......she just has such a beautiful relationship with animals....especially horses.



Miss Polyanna......thought I'd take a piggy break


Look at that face.....is she in heaven or what!?!




ostertaga said...

What a sense of confidence she is exuding in all these pics!!


Tara Marie said...

Thanks Amy.......this is truly an area that Emma Sage is 'right at home' with and one that does empower her. You should listen to her as she grooms the horses....she talks to them as if they fully understand everything she is telling them and the bond is quite magical!!!!

I do think she is going to make a wonderful horsewoman and I have a 'dream' that she works for my neighbor when she gets older.

My neighbor runs a Summer Farm Workshop Camp for young campers....a perfect fit for Emma Sage!

Mom to Rhett said...

Tara Marie...
You always take the most amazing pictures. She is absoutley beautiful.

I wish I could have witnessed her talking to those horses.

~Melissa~ said...

She looks so proud and experienced with the horses! How wonderful that she has something so special available to her!!

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betsy said...

My dear, we are such soul sisters...

Paige has loved horseback riding since she first saw a horse at age 3. She has learned so much on the back of a horse.

About 2 years ago, I wrote an article for CanTra (the Canadian Horse Therapy Magazine) - and I used almost identical words to yours - that, on the back of a horse, Paige is just a kid - not a kid with a disability - but just a regular ol' kid.

One of my very favorite pictures of Paige is riding backwards on a horse at around 3 years old...I can literally hear her laughter when I look at that picture.

Here it is::


She is also a little fish in the water!! Its amazing how hard her little legs have to work to walk, but when she gets in the water or on a horse, they work like magic!

RK said...

The great equalizer, I love that. I'll be on the lookout for some of those as Braska grows up! Thanks for the great pics too!

Trixie said...

This absolutely melted my heat. Such confidence and grace.

Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

She looks like an old pro throughly enjoying what she is doing. Love how she posed in one of the pictures.

jennifergg said...

Oh she looks FANTASTIC! I love the Carhartts with the PINK SHIRT of course!


Shannon said...

You can tell she loves it! And you had me cracking up at the plumber butt comment.

Mauzy said...

oh yeah! Nash is also following mom's footsteps...riding, I love it!

But, are you going hunt seat or western? Can't tell by the pics.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. I love her confidence...she is right at home with the horse...wonderful!

Cathy said...

Beautiful, Tara! It is wonderful to read stories like this! I am glad she has found her niche.