Will Builds Strength and More on Horseback

Variety Teen Will sits on a horse while supported by two therapists wearing masks.

Did you know that the cadence of a horse’s movement mimics a human walking? That’s what makes hippotherapy so effective – it gives those with mobility challenges, like Variety Teen Will, a way to build strength and coordination by riding a horse.

Hippotherapy combines physical, occupational and speech therapy and uses equine movement to develop and enhance both neurological and physical functioning. Will has used it to increase his strength, balance and more. Through hippotherapy, he has also built his confidence in himself and his skills, which has, in turn, improved his social interactions with peers. And he has a lot of fun doing it!

“Will would never in my dreams be able to horseback ride,” says Sarah, Will’s mom.  

Will is able to attend hippotherapy sessions through the help of Variety and our supporters. Without this assistance, he would not have access to this life-changing therapy.

“Will is able to do this great therapy solely because of the generosity of Variety and its donors,” Sarah says. “Thanks for all you do and all the ways you have helped our kids!”

Sarah also shares that Variety has remained a constant throughout the pandemic.

“When COVID came, we were all so isolated,” she says. “For kids with special needs that was even harder. Therapy stopped. School stopped. Friends stopped. Now that things are getting back to more of a ‘normal,’ Variety continues to make the impossible, possible.”

You can learn more about our TherHappy Kids program, which ensures Variety Teens like Will have uninterrupted access to vital therapies, at VarietySTL.org/Therapy.