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Loving Thunder Therapeutic Riding, Inc.

Reviews


I have been riding here at Loving Thunder for a few months now and it has been a WONDERFUL experience.  The calming effect the horses have is amazing and helps keep me grounded. Loving Thunder has helped me connect with my loved ones and opening doors for me to connect with the community.  Twuana, Mike and Loving Thunder as a whole is very professional and supportive.  Thank you, Laramie (my horse) and Loving Thunder.
NH


Like many veterans, I came home from Iraq with "invisible injuries".  I was always looking behind me, hypersensitive to my environment, couldn't deal with crowds and often family.  I was quick to anger and slow to focus.  I tried going to group sessions at the VA and it just made things worse.  Medications could only do so much.  I didn't know how I was going to make and really didn't care if I did.  I saw equine therapy on http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org and figured I might as well give it a try.  I knew I was more comfortable in wide open spaces.  Horses had to better than what I'd been doing with the VA, and WWP was willing to pay for lessons.  The first lesson I was really nervous because I didn't know how to work with this half-ton hero, but I  noticed I felt more relaxed when I left.  When it was time for my next lesson, I realized that I was looking forward to going and I hadn't felt that in a long time.   I felt a little better every time I went to the ranch and eventually started volunteering because I couldn't ride enough to keep that feeling going.  Now the ranch is where I go to get away from everything and reset.  They say that PTSD will never be cured; you just have to learn how to cope.  The horses are the best therapist I've worked with so far. It may not be a cure, but this is going to help me cope for a long time.
BG 


My daughter came to ride with Loving Thunder after having participated in a Hippotherapy program.  She is growing her skills and is finally learning about horse care and preparation.  This bonding with the horse has meant more than all the other horse activities before.  She loves all the horses here but especially loves Mo, her favorite horse.  He responds to her requests with very little assistance from the leader and gives her even more confidence and self-esteem.  She asks to go see Mo even during the week and really misses it when we are on breaks.  She loves riding at Loving Thunder.
TB


You did an outstanding job!  Seeing her ride made me cry...in very few aspects of her life does C**** feel "adequate" when it comes to physical abilities.  She has SO much confidence and thoroughly enjoys her Saturdays at your barn.  We've seen many good things come out of the lessons for her, and she's just barely started.  After meeting you and watching you interact with the riders and horses, it's very plain to see that this is where your heart is.  I'm grateful for your dedication and time to add something to the lives of these precious riders.  Thank you for organizing the horse show and looking forward to next year
H.D.


I watch my smiling daughter's confidence and skill as she readies June Bug for their Saturday riding session.  June Bug is one of several horses in the Loving Thunder Therapeutic Riding Program where Sarah has been a participant for over a year.  Under the direction of Twuana Raupp, Sarah, who has Down syndrome, guides her horse with the assistance of trained volunteer staff through weekly activities that are cognitively and physically beneficial.  Her balance, trunk stability, strength and physical endurance have been enhanced through the unique relationship of the rider and the horse.  Her language skills have improved especially in the area of auditory processing, specifically in her ability to attend to, recall and respond to the auditory input.  I've also seen improvements in her emotional well-being and social interaction.  Over the year that she has been participating in the program, I been surprised and so pleased with her progress.  I've seen firsthand the many benefits that a therapeutic riding program can have for individuals with physical and cognitive challenges.
CG

I came to the program a little over 6 months ago and all I can say is that it has done wonderful things for me. Thanks to Mike, Twuana, and Wounded Warrior project I was able to try a new form of therapy.  As it turns out equine therapy has been the single greatest therapeutic benefit since my return from Iraq.  I am very grateful for their time,  and selfless dedication to the program and the empowerment of others who could use the helping hand.  Thanks, Loving Thunder!
CN

I have been riding with Loving Thunder since April and have many new opportunities made available to me in my personal life.  First of all through the experience of riding a horse with an instructor I have gained confidence in my current physical abilities in my daily life.  This is through the power of love, caring, and perseverance of the volunteer staff at Loving Thunder.  They have been able to help give me a hand up in life without it being a handout.  Secondly, they have opened the doors to their lives and allowed me to become a productive member of the volunteer team and care for the horses and help with the riders.  They have supported me so I can give back to the community and help others with disabilities to gain a meaningful, joyful experience in their lives. Thirdly, they continue to support me with compassion and caring each and every time I go to the ranch.  They are right there to offer support, space, love, and fellowship when my PTSD has given me challenges. They are truly a blessing to the special needs community and I am feeling more whole in life and am no longer lacking a sense of community or the isolation and despair that, all too often, comes with my PTSD.
CH


You did an outstanding job!  Seeing her ride made me cry...in very few aspects of her life does C**** feel "adequate" when it comes to physical abilities.  She has SO much confidence and thoroughly enjoys her Saturdays at your barn.  We've seen many good things come out of the lessons for her, and she's just barely started.  After meeting you and watching you interact with the riders and horses, it's very plain to see that this is where your heart is.  I'm grateful for your dedication and time to add something to the lives of these precious riders.  Thank you for organizing the horse show and looking forward to next year.
H.D.