WARSAW — It’s not just a pony ride. This was the overriding message as Magical Meadows celebrated its ten year anniversary last night, Oct. 19. A donor reception was held to honor everyone involved in making the vision of Magical Meadows come true.
The organization offers therapeutic riding programs for children, youth and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities throughout the county. Donors who have supported the vision of the organization received a first hand look at the benefits riders experience.
“It’s the best thing we could have done. Anna actually started walking right here in that doorway,” explained Amy Seewald, mother of Anna who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth.
Anna’s father Rob Seewald confessed that he wasn’t always a believer in the program. “I thought there was no way this was going to work until I saw her on the horse … To watch her grow, to watch her challenge herself, is amazing.”
Children with disabilities aren’t the only people who benefit from program at Magical Meadows. Warriors Mount Up is specifically designed to help veterans overcome any difficulties they face in their day to day lives.
“This has been an amazing blessing in my life,” commented veteran Ted. “This has been my sanctuary. It’s given me an outlet to not hear the battle noises … I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for this facility.
This year has been a huge year for the vision of Magical Meadows. With the help of a matching grant through the K21 Foundation, the facility has purchased 30 acres of land. The land will be used for additional trail space and to grow hay. Through growing their own hay, the organization will be able to save thousands of dollars a year.
With the addition of the new land and continuous help of community donors, Magical Meadows plans on continuing to expand. Currently, the facility serves 100 individuals, but there are around 5,000 special needs adults and children in the county. Anyone interested in supporting the cause, can donate or receive more information online.
“All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Founder Tammy Stackhouse. “You have allowed these kids to have amazing opportunities. We have been able to prove it’s not just a pony ride.”