I met Kim Swaney through my mom who talked with Kim about JD. At the time he was very shy and was becoming more distant. Kim said she would love to meet him and introduce him to the horses.
We took JD out to the ranch. Even when he didn’t respond, she taught him how to approach the horses and how to talk to them. Before the end of that session, he was smiling, grooming the horses, and even talked to her. He began asking to go see Kim and the horses. So, we set up weekly or biweekly dates for him to go out to the horses. He became very excited to help groom and walk them and then he got to start riding and as soon as he got on that horse Freckles he was so happy. He was very stiff and a little nervous but with the help of Kim and practice he became a natural on the horse.
Within a few short months my son, who would barely talk to family let alone a stranger has become very outgoing and happy. If it wasn’t for the program Happiness Through Horses I don’t think he would be doing as well as he is.
As for myself, I have found that volunteering with the horses has helped me when I feel depressed. I never thought shoveling horse poop could make you feel good, but when you get done you feel like you accomplished something and the horses are so loving. My favorite horse is Razz and he is such a gentle horse. He lets me wrap my arms around him and hug him and is always happy to see my car pull up. Having to deal with divorce and uproot your whole life is very stressful and depressing at times but being able to go and be with the horses has helped me to feel happiness and a purpose. Most of all, it has helped my son JD