Dream Walkers Equine Therapy
My name is Jo Francis Moreland and my son is Bailey Moreland. This is his story.
On June 12, 2014 my son had a seizure, at the age of 4, in our local supermarket. After rushing him to the ER we were told they had found a tumor is his brain. As any mother would I wanted to know what steps, plans that needed to be made. So after a month of testing, he was finally scheduled for surgery. On July 28th and 29th, this is where our world was turned upside down. After a 13-hour surgery Bailey slept for 4 days and it wasn't until then that we found out he was partially paralyzed on the left side of his body. So after being at Methodist Children's Hospital for 2 weeks, having all sorts of therapies. Me (mom) working countless hours with him trying to get his strength back, we were sent to Children's Hospital of San Antonio for inpatient rehab. Once we got there, Dr. Riley told us the basic things (ex. Bailey will never be able to walk on
this own. He will always need to wear a brace on his foot. He would have to get around mainly with a wheelchair. They couldn't tell us how long he would be there until he reached his six-week evaluation. Tony and myself would stay with him everyday and every night. We would continue to work with him after therapy had gone home. After about 4 weeks they sent us home with Outpatient orders. Bailey was to attend regular school and try to be as normal as other 5 year olds.
Even though he was going to school a bunch of modifications needed to be made. He was unable to sit upright for long periods of time. He would tire easily. Unable to use his left hand, we tried all sorts of things like bike riding, trampolines, swings, things that a 5 year old would be interested in to get his strength back up.
I heard about Dream Walkers Equine Therapy Center from other staff members that I worked with, so I spoke with Dr. Guerrero to see what he thought about it. He agreed and signed off on it. Bailey has been going to Dream Walkers Equine Therapy for a little over a year now. When he first started he was unable to walk far distances without getting tired, always wanting to take a nap in school, unable to get in our trucks, unable to sit on a toilet correctly. He was also unable to use his left arm (we now call Lefty). I strongly believe if it were not for Dream Walkers Equine Therapy he would not be able to do these things now. Pauline and the center volunteers have worked with him for many countless hours.
Many people do not understand what all goes on there. Most people think it nothing more than horse riding and its fun. I can say it's not. Since Bailey has been there he has been able to make some use of his arm. After a couple of visits he was able to just sit on the toilet by himself. We really noticed changes in school and at home. We had purchased him a stay put highchair and placed at the dinner table. By Thanksgiving he took the chair off himself and said he did not need this anymore. He was able to sit up in class without help and not needing to take as many naps. He started running. He was able to get into the trucks and put on his seatbelt. By the summer he was able to walk far distances. (He walked all of SeaWorld) Now he can get in and out of the trucks, put on his seatbelt. Gets dressed with little or no help.
He laughs again. He has become a happy child again. He enjoys going out to Dream Walkers every Saturday. He does not see it as therapy but where he can be himself without anyone placing judgment of what he can or cannot do. When it rains or its too cold unfortunately classes cannot be held due to the weather. That is what really upsets him. This is something he looks forward to every week that no one can take away from him. This belongs to him, Bailey Moreland.
April 14, 2016
Brianna is a beautiful six-year-old girl who was born with Down syndrome. Brianna is developing very well and attends kindergarten at Dalton Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. Like most children her age, Brianna has some difficulty with staying focused/paying attention for very long and definitely needs work on following instructions, especially when it involves tasks she’s not familiar with. Like most children with Down syndrome, Brianna was diagnosed with hypotonia. This causes Brianna to have decreased core strength, balance and stability.
Brianna was introduced to Dream Walkers Equine Therapy this year and with the guidance of Pauline Garcia she has continued to surprise us with her abilities.
Brianna now has a bond with her horse Jasmine. She talks about Jasmine at home and wants to see Jasmine whenever she can. Brianna is learning to listen, follow
instructions, and pay attention better than ever before, as Pauline is firm and consistent with her. Brianna’s core strength has increased as noted by her ability to jump and even attempt hand stands which she never attempted in the past.
In Uvalde there is very little for most kids to do and nothing for children with disabilities.
Dream Walkers is the first and only place that has a beautiful opportunity for all kids to participate in constructive activity that will positively affect them for the rest of their lives. Walk on!
Kamille is a beautiful 11-year old girl who was born with multiple health conditions. She has seizures, vision difficulty, speech impairment, learning disabilities and muscle weakness, which affect her ability to balance and walk. Kamille does not do social situations well, she becomes fearful of crowds and loud noises.
Kamille began therapy sessions and we saw an amazing improvement. In just six weeks she went from not wanting to have anything to do with the horses or the center volunteers - to riding, laughing and reaching out to her horse and the volunteers. Kamille tends to use music to soothe her when she is distressed and wears headphones to help keep her calm.
At the end of the six-week session Kamille no longer needed the music played and would allow the volunteer to turn it off and remove the headphones from her ears. We noticed she was able to balance herself on the horse more frequently as the weeks went by.
Although Kamille was not able to verbally communicate to the volunteers she seemed to communicate with them through laughter and smiles.Kamille signals her horse to "walk on" by clapping her hands twice and she certainly does not like to stand still.
Hi, my name is Allison. I am 7 years old. My favorite animal is a horse. I love horses. I’ve begged my mom and dad forever finally one Sunday morning at church, my mom’s friend Cindy Turner said that they are starting a horse riding place. They named it the dream walkers. They teach special needs kids. I am not special needs but I still get to go. After a few weeks Cindy Turner moved away and Pauline helped me. I’ve had a great time. I have learned a lot. Here is some of things I learned – stop, go, patience. I have the best time ever!!!!! - Allison
Being involved in Dream Walkers Equine Therapy has been a blessing for my daughter, Allison. She has always loved horses and has always wanted to ride and learn more about them. She is more excited about horse day than anything else. Allison
sometimes struggles with impulse control and goes from extremely happy to very frustrated easily. While on the horse she is much more reserved. She is calm and deliberate on a horse. Dream Walkers Equine Therapy does a fantastic job with the training of beginners and handling the horses. Kirby and Caryn Goggans
Delia Trevino, mother of Markie, said that equine therapy is perfect for her son because he loves animals. She said that a simple task, such as keeping the reins in front of the horn of the saddle for an hour each session, improved other aspects of his life. She noticed increased eye contact, more one-on-one conversations and decreased tip-toe walking. “Whether or not we always realized it, Markie was getting much more than just enjoyment out of riding,” - Uvalde Leader News interview.