Clown is a twenty-three-year-old paint thoroughbred who works as a therapy horse with We Can Ride in Maple Plain, Minnesota. He connects with people with disabilities, like eleven-year-old Kiara, who has Mitochondrial Cytopathy Disorder, which quickly drains her energy. A lot of people didn’t understand why Kiara was having a hard time.
“Nobody really understands that I am disabled until they see it. Like a lot of people will say I am fine and that I’m okay.”
Over the course of her therapy with Clown at We Can Ride, Kiara has slowly been able to increase her endurance while spending time with an animal she loves. Her core strength has increased, and her independence has grown. That’s something her doctors have noted, as well as the staff at We Can Ride.
“She has become more independent…[she has] more strength and her doctors have noticed…She is stronger. We can see it. We can see her growth and she is so very excited.”
-Simone, occupational therapist at We Can Ride
Not only has Kiara been able to grow from her work with Clown, but her mom is extremely thankful for the opportunities that Clown is bringing into her daughter’s life. Kiara is finally able to do normal little girl things, like go out and play. Clown has given that back to her, and Kiara’s mom doesn’t have to feel like those normal experiences are out of reach for Kiara.
“It’s really hard as a parent to sit there with physicians and have them say that you need to adjust, this may be normal for you, your normal may be twenty minutes to an hour [of activity]. It’s hard to sit down and have that conversation… [Clown has] given her a quality of life that we were kind of told wasn’t going to be there anymore.”
Kiara has normalcy in her life now. She’s able to be active, and for more than just twenty minutes a day. That’s because of Clown. That’s why the work that We Can Ride is doing is so important. Kiara is growing while interacting with an animal who she loves. Feed It Forward is proud to help We Can Ride and the other organizations like them.