Lauren is a twenty-six-year-old attorney who works in Minneapolis, MN. She was diagnosed with arthrogryposis multiplex congenital, a disorder which affects the mobility in her joints. Arthrogryposis holds her back physically in some aspects of life, but she learned at a young age that it doesn’t affect her when she’s in the saddle.
“It affects me to some extent, but it doesn’t limit my ability to still ride a horse.”
Around 2015, Lauren had hip surgery which further limited her mobility. Almost immediately after the surgery she told herself that she didn’t want the loss of mobility to keep her from doing the things she loves, things like horseback riding. She started looking for somewhere near Minneapolis that offered therapeutic horseback riding programs. That’s when she found We Can Ride in Maple Plain, MN. And that’s where she met her therapy horse, Griffin.
“I’ve ridden a lot of horses in my life, but Griffin has been so interesting to work with. From the moment that I started working with him, he started picking up on how my body works a little differently.”
Lauren says that Griffin is able to understand her body language, and he was able to do it almost immediately. Because he can so intuitively pick up on her body’s signals, she’s felt more like the two of them aren’t in therapy. To Lauren, she’s just riding her favorite horse.
“I wanted to be a horseback rider, not someone who has a disability and uses a horse as a form of therapy.”
Griffin makes Lauren feel more confident, not just in the saddle, but out in the world as well. When she’s riding him, she feels like she has as much mobility and as much freedom as anyone else. And we’re happy to be a part of that freedom she’s found.