Saddle UpSeptember 26, 2017 | Sunshine Villa
Visiting with Sunshine Villa resident Clara is always a delight. One day, the Tailored Preferences Coordinator, Antonia Barros, asked Clara if she remembered the last time she rode a horse. Clara said that she hadn't ridden a horse since she was very young. She expressed interest in riding again, but sounded hesitant due to her age. Although Clara had just celebrated her 96th birthday a couple of days before, Antonia was confident that Clara's age would not prevent her from getting on a horse if she was given the opportunity.
A few days later, Antonia called the Monterey Bay Therapeutic Horse Ranch to set up a visit and to see if it was possible to surprise Clara with a horseback ride. Pat, the owner of the ranch, said this would be possible if Clara agreed. Antonia invited Clara to visit a ranch to see the horses and have a picnic. She happily accepted and conveyed her appreciation.
Clara began her afternoon on the ranch with a picnic. After Clara enthusiastically pet the horses in the arena, Antonia asked Clara if she was interested in going for a ride. Clara smiled widely and agreed without hesitation. With confidence, Clara climbed onto the saddle. Off she went, with the guidance of an employee. She was quite the fair lady sitting upon her steed. When she had both feet on the ground, Clara said she could hardly believe that she was able to get her legs around the saddle and prance around the arena! Seeing Clara's excitement created a very special WOW! Moment.
Clara later shared pictures and stories from the ranch with her family. Her family was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed listening about her exciting opportunity. This WOW! Moment was talked about with staff and residents for many days after. Clara's willingness and enthusiasm to ride a horse proves you are never too old to get back on the saddle.
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