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I’ve written before about my horse as my therapist. For me, that means the world’s a little clearer, happier and easier after barn time. It’s an intangible but perceptible difference.

So I’m fascinated by truly therapeutic riding programs like HorsePower, which¬†operates out of Meadowbrooks Farm in Castle Rock, Colo. Back in my student reporter days in Chicago, I shot a story on a similar adaptive riding program at the barn where I was taking lessons.

I could not believe the change that came over highly autistic, wheelchair-bound kids when they came into contact with the horses. These were kids who didn’t speak, walk or even make eye contact with anyone. But when they were led out to the horses, it was like a light came on.

Just a few months with the horses brought amazing changes to children who were so far inside themselves, even the parents didn’t think they’d ever find them. But these kids found and followed the hoof beats that were¬†gently leading them out of their solitary worlds. Kids were starting to walk and talk after years of other therapies failed. There was something about connecting with horses that profoundly changed these children. Their parents teared up as they talked about the progress and the hope they’d found for their kids.

So I’m looking forward to the June 19 fundraiser for HorsePower in Palmer Lake. The food will be great, the entertainment will be fun, and the cause couldn’t be more worthwhile. I know I’ll see at least a few Colorado Peruvian peeps, so I’m guaranteed a good time.

If you can’t make it, I know the HorsePower folks would appreciate any kind of donation you can manage. It’s money well-spent.

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