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Monday, March 22, 2010

Equines Assisting Special Individuals

Earlier this year, I had a chance to go visit the Equines Assisting Special Individuals therapeutic riding program in Walker County, AL. It was started by a wonderful woman named Kim Hall, who "dreamed of a place where abused or neglected children, a child who needs special assistance could experience unconditional love and acceptance." Some personal experiences, including a son who has special needs, spurred on this passion and it is now a reality.

Kim asked a few riders to come while I was there photographing and I got to witness, first hand, the transformation these frustrated, often handicapped children experienced when they sat on the obedient horses.

Boone was the most dramatic. When he arrived, he was so excited, but quickly grew very frustrated. He can't walk without assistance from his mother and can communicate through sounds, but not through language you and I can decipher. He was moaning and groaning, so impatient to get on that horse. When the horse was finally ready, they popped Boone up there and I think the expression speaks for itself. After only a few moments, he was begging to trot and trot he did. The poor escorts and his mother were exhausted, but the look on that sweet boy's face must have been worth it.
Look at the sheer delight. And his sweet mom's face as she sees her baby so happy.

I was touched by this organization and grateful to see how therapeutic it actually is.


  1. I love it! Thanks for introducing me to it. I saw & felt many of the same things the summer I volunteered at Special Equestrians at Indian Springs. I wish all involved with both organizations the best.

  2. It's awesome that you used your photography to benefit such a great cause!

  3. Hey Hillary! I graduated with Hagen and have known your family for ages. Anyway, somehow I stumbled upon both of your blogs and LOVE looking at your photography. It's BEAUTIFUL. I LOVE this post. It made cry. How precious. Thanks for sharing!!