Monday afternoon marked the first of five field trips that the Jefferson Elementary School functional skills students will make to Warsaw’s Magical Meadows Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center. According to Magical Meadows Founder Tammy Stackhouse Warsaw Community Schools is now the second area school system to utilize the benefits of equine exposure to help and educate their functional skills students. Whitko Schools has been bringing children to Magical Meadows for five years.
Stackhouse explained that Magical Meadows work with special needs individuals of all ages, either in a one-on-one setting or with larger groups like that from Jefferson Elementary School. Stackhouse referred to a Winston Churchill quote to explain the benefits of horses in an individual’s life, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Stackhouse then stated, “Horses are not judgmental, they can sense who is riding them and our horses are so gentle and good with these kids.”
Magical Meadows works with individuals with special need of all ages. Stackhouse explained that the youngest person that they had taken riding was three years old, while they have also had a rider who was 88 years of age.
“Equine assisted activities is not just a pony ride. It can strengthen new muscles, can loosen tense muscles, help them gain self-esteem and self-confidence,” stated Stackhouse. Monday’s group from Jefferson worked on planting flowers in cups as they rode around the indoor, newly-heated facility. Various stations, such as a soil station and a watering station, were set up around the ring, and the horses would stop as the children assembled their miniature gardens.
Magical Meadows will now be open year-round due to the newly installed heating system. Any individual interesting in learning more about the opportunities available at Magical Meadows can call (574) 265-3085, or email [email protected].