Crystal M Williams

Disability Advocate, Writer, Blogger, Kabuki Syndrome

Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association Has changed my life.

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VTEA, What does that stand for? Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association. I started horseback riding when I was 3 1/2 years old. I needed the therapeutic horseback riding when I was little because with my disability and my Kabuki Syndrome my balance wasn’t very good. My parents told me that when I was little I had a very hard time just sitting in a chair because of my balance. I would have to be strapped in because I would just fall off of the chair. I also had a very hard time walking and standing properly. Now thanks to all of the therapeutic horseback riding I’m able to sit in a chair, walk and stand properly. I did horseback riding on and off as a kid. I took a few years off to try other things but I was never really happy with the other things that I tried. When I went back to VTEA for horseback riding that’s when I realized how much I missed it. Whenever I would have a bad day or even a bad week I would always look forward to going for my riding lesson. Getting to spend 30 minutes horseback riding would always make my day or my week. Once I became a teenager I got to spend more time before and after my lessons volunteering in the barn by cleaning the stalls or even doing some of the paddocks. Sometimes I just love getting to watch at the end of the arena the other riders who do need the therapeutic riding. It makes me very grateful because some of the other riders are not as lucky as I am to be able to go off lead or even get to trot on their own. A lot of the riders need side walkers to be by their side because they may not have to best balance or could have seizures so that means that they would have to take the rider off of the horse for safety. Not all of the riders need sidewalks some just have a leader to lead their horse around. Now I still get to horseback ride and volunteer once a week. I used to do the barn work like cleaning stalls and doing the paddocks now i get to spend my time volunteering in the arena helping with the lessons. I love getting to see the other riders so happy that makes my day. Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association wouldn’t be what it is without all of the great people and volunteers. I consider Valley Therapeutic Equestrian like my second home away from home and I can’t even imagine if i didn’t have it in my life. I really love being able to give back to them because they have changed my life for the better and it’s such a great feeling to be able to give back to an organization that means the world to me. Now I’m learning how to do all kinds of different things on and off of the horses. I recently did a online video compaction with Equine Canada called the coast to coast para equestrian Canada. I got first place in my class and I couldn’t be happier. I’m looking forward to doing more competitions and one of my goals is to do jumping as well. Here’s just a few pictures of me from over the years at Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association. Hope you enjoy my story about my favorite place that means the world to me.

Riding Flicka March 18, 1998
Riding Flicka
Riding Flicka. Horse show 1999
Horse Show May 1999
Horse Show 2000
Bailey & I September 19, 2008
Riding Bailey. May 5, 2009
Horse Show. June 26, 2009
Reba & I. December 18, 2011
Riding Reba. December 18, 2011
Riding Logunne. May 27,2014
Riding Pasqualina. June 24, 2014
Harley & I. October 6, 2015
Riding Harley. Doing my Para Equestrian Canada Coast to Coast Introductory Video Competition. May 24, 2016
Riding TC. Holding my first place ribbon for my Para Equestrian Canada Coast to Coast Introductory Video Competition  September 13, 2016

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