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A Mother's Story

From the moment Stevie walks into Main Stay, he is the focus. Stevie has autism and is a long-time Main Stay rider. Being non-verbal causes shyness and apprehension in Stevie and often it hides his personality—however at Main Stay he shines. “Main Stay lets you get to know Stevie”.

During Family Week, Stevie’s mother gets the opportunity to switch roles with him and to ride his horse. She discovers Stevie’s experiences from atop a big, powerful, and to her, scary animal. But to her son, it is a treasured time. He gets on his horse Cassa with such ease.

The shared experience enables the mother/son bond to expand as she tells her son how very brave he is to get on the horse every week. She in turn tells family members about the experience and the “conversation” with Stevie is one of praise, excitement and enthusiasm. Stevie is an active participant during his lesson which focuses on communicating with his horse, volunteers and instructor as well as working on riding. Using his reins to control his horse or learning to post, increases his strength as well as teaches new skills. He helps clean the arena after his class is done, an important life skill and something his mother feels he takes pride in doing.

Stevie knows his team of instructor and volunteers have expectations of him. “He feels capable and purposeful while at the barn and this doesn’t happen in many other areas of his life. He’s never overlooked when he’s at Main Stay.”

Contact information

Main Stay Therapeutic Farm

6919 Keystone Rd., Richmond, IL 60071

Tel: 815.653.9374  Fax: 815.728.1224

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