"Actually, it's a very soothing aspect of life...Once you get on the horse, it's very relaxing. It's very peaceful. It's a very good vibe that you get."
“Since starting the riding program for Jacob 2 ½ years ago, we have seen such a transformation; from shy child to confident child. We never realized the impact it would have on him. We wanted to find a hobby he could stick to. He did not enjoy sports or make friends easily. He cannot wait to ride (Cocoa) every week. He shares a special bond with this horse and says Cocoa understands him. And then, to have him enjoy a hobby that is teaching him listening skills, works on his core strength, and his focus. It is an all around win for me as a parent to give him some therapy at a place he loves to visit. I cannot say enough of the staff, horses and the happiness it brings Jacob.”
Everyone loves Cocoa! Not just because of his long flowing mane and forelock but also because he is the sweetest guy around. Cocoa loves everyone - horse or human! Cocoa’s favorite game is follow the leader – he will follow you around wherever you go.
Mando - Haflinger
Mando is a Parelli trained haflinger. He has a beautiful flaxen mane and the best trot on the farm. Mando loves to hang out with Cocoa!
Iggy came to us from Montana. Iggy has a soft spot for our young riders and will stick his head out of his stall to greet them. Iggy is often called our "powerhouse" because he can carry a wide variety of riders. These riders have fallen in love with his sweet personality and his beautiful stride. Because of his cool dorsal stripe that runs from the tip of his head to his tail we are often changing Iggy’s hair style. Follow us on Facebook and see which one you like the best!
“When I first came to CFTRC, I had no self esteem and no social skills. I barely had enough confidence to look people in the eye or stand up straight. I felt for a time that I could amount to nothing and I would always be afraid to do anything. Then the first time I rode, I started to see unlimited empowerment in my confidence. When I rode a horse, I felt in control of things and I could do anything I wanted and that the sky was the limit. As weeks went by, I noticed that I was looking people in the eye and standing up straight. I started to show personality. I think that other people noticed as well and people stopped walking over me and I felt in control. A few months later, I gained the courage to take guitar lessons. I have been coming to CFTRC for almost five years now and it’s weird looking back and seeing who I was. I would highly recommend for people with a low self-esteem to come here. It’s changed me drastically over 4 years I have been here. If coming here changed me for the better, it can certainly change you.”
Heather Clarke has seen the riding program do wonders for her 5-year-old daughter Charlotte. "Charlie" has become more verbal since she began her lessons three years ago — two of those at Compassionate Friends.
"She loves it," said Clarke, "She's starting to talk more. She started to walk from coming here. ... She loves the horses. She loves the people. Miss Sherri is awesome."
Cherry Hill, NJ