In mid-2019, the parents of a young man named Colin were searching for a place for Colin to do therapy with equines.
You see, 14 year-old Colin is autistic. He had trouble standing up straight and looking where he was going. He also shuffled his feet when he walked. His occupational therapist had explained that the simple act of riding a horse at the walk would create neuron-brain connections. His parents were on board, but when they visited therapy centers, there were no horses large enough to accomodate Colin's 6'4", 200 pound body.
Fortunately, their search took them to Marcy Waelti of Waelti Farm. While not an official therapy program, Marcy teaches Natural Horsemanship. AND Marcy had adopted a giant of a horse from us, Snowman.
Two years earlier, Snowman had been taken to a surrender clinic, and was a day from being euthanized. His owner no longer wanted him and he had a hematoma on his underbelly. Something in Snowman's eyes told us to take a chance on the Percheron cross gelding. The hematoma resolved within a couple of weeks, but Snowman had emotional issues. It was obvious that he had been handled roughly, and that had taken a toll on the gentle giant. He had problems trusting humans. We slowly rehabbed Snowman and he responded fabulously. So much so, that we recommended him to Marcy as a lesson horse. After Marcy adopted Snowman, she continued his rehab and soon he was ready for some human partners.
Colin and Snowman took to each other right from the beginning. Snowman loved Colin's gentle nature and Colin appreciated Snowman's calmness AND size!
As you can see from the photos, Colin is walking very upright and his focus is way ahead of him! He takes his leadership role in the partnership very seriously. He no longer shuffles his feet.
With Marcy's guidance, he learned that when riding, he needed to "carry himself" and not be a burden on Snowman. Colin practices at home, so he can be a better passenger for his equine friend.
In much less than a year, Colin's therapist reports that he has better focus, balance and muscle tone.
Marcy describes them as a "Match Made in Heaven". A throwaway horse and a young man with disabilites are making dreams come true.
To contact Marcy go to: