A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?
Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Monday, August 8, 2011

Windrush Farm Horses Helping People

I have recently had the honor of writing an article for Windrush Farm. Windrush Farm Therapeutic Equitation is a nonprofit horse farm specializing in teaching physically, emotionally, and learning disabled children and adults to ride and work with horses.

Beautiful things happen when children with autism and horses are brought together
In this magic-like union! “Horse Play” is a program designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum who range in ages from 5-12. This summers program was well received by all who attended. Listen to a few things the volunteers had to say “ Lila improved a lot on speaking to the horse and became more confident giving verbal commands. I saw her fine motor skills improve as she worked with buckles and latches and becoming more comfortable grooming her horse.”-Casey
“At the end of the program Jon could put all his grooming tools in order and groom Chief all on his own, he seemed very happy.”-Erin

Each child got their own horse/pony to care for. Because the horse has a natural way of calming the child’s sensory system, they often times help their language skills to emerge.
Here is what Taylor had to say...“Jeff got better at grooming and touching Guiness, on the last day he could even do it by himself. He became a lot more verbal as the week went on.”

The children were encouraged to explore, process and enjoy the sights, sounds and textures found on the farm. This type of horse play was an unmounted approach, while concentrating more on contextual factors and interaction between them and their gentle partners. Fun and games were also high on the list, along with arts and crafts.

The parents were just thrilled as a sense of camaraderie unraveled in the barn. One parent marveled as she exclaimed “Every morning I asked Jon “Do you want to go to school or Windrush?” Jon loves school but he always said Windrush. He really enjoys his time here.”-Mary

An assessment from Susan, our very own instructor was that huge progress was made from each of the children as they developed unconventional ways of accomplishing motor tasks. She reminds us that we are all more capable than we think. Each child left feeling more confident than they came.

Watching with amazement as your child builds a trusting and equal relationship with the horse is pure joy. We believe that a very important piece of the puzzle is found right here at Windrush Farm. We believe in your child and when their comfort and confidence level grows, they believe in themselves.

Windrush Farm is an exceptional Farm that helps so many families in need. They have created a website that supports folks with special needs and their families in Massachusetts. It is designed to educate and walk them through all the different activities and therapies that involve horses. It then connects them with a program near them that offers what they are looking for. For more information go to their
website http://horseshelpingpeoplema.com/
© Copyright 2011 by Janet Harrold


  1. Janet, thank you for donating your time to write this piece on our Horse Play Program. Your words beautifully and eloquently express the magical relationship between the horse and child here at Windrush Farm. Thank you!

  2. Thank you to Windrushfarm for the opportunity to spread the good word about a beautiful place and great resource for those who need it! Always happy to help when I can.

  3. We have a facility in our area that works with brain-damaged people, with similar results. Kudos to Windrush Farm and other facilities that allow special needs individuals to experience the joy of horses.