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Jack's HETRA Story

Aaron: “Jack has been riding at HETRA for 10+ years! During his toddler years, Jack hated PT. He cried every time we entered the hospital. His Mom and I thought there had to be a better way. One day while at work a new employee asked me if HETRA was available in Omaha to volunteer at. I looked it up and after a discussion, Jack was quickly signed up for HETRA. And we've been going every week ever since!

Jack's goals at HETRA have always been to improve mobility and strength. But it has turned into so much more than that. The social/emotional part of HETRA has affected all our lives and the staff at the Barn are more like family than healthcare providers.”

Jack: “When I started riding at HETRA, I had to build up my experience with riding horses. I did not really have that much experience before. I had to go through two stages, Therapy Services and then Adaptive Riding. I am not quite to independent riding yet, but we are getting there with each session. There was this mechanical horse I had to ride, EQ, and I remember starting to ride around the stable when I was just three years old. The point was to make sure I could get on the horse safely and ride appropriately.

When I first started Adaptive Riding, I knew it was going to be tricky or hard, especially after I was recovering from surgery. After my surgery when I came back I had to start all over. I had to redo the test on EQ to make sure I was ready, which was hard for me. I thought, "I am going to be ready immediately. I am going to be independent and riding without a horse leader" but my dad said I have to start over because my legs still need to recover.

The parts of this program I really enjoy are all of the nice people you get to meet, meeting all of the horses, and meeting all the other people who ride there. I’ve met a lot of people that I can actually talk to which is really nice too. I had this sidewalker for about 10 weeks. She was really kind and would do my beginning stretches with me. For example, I had to do calf stretches and then I would have to sit on the pommel to exercise and warm-up my legs for being able to sit on the horse. We would always talk and it was really fun getting to know all of the volunteers and getting to know about their lives.

If I could describe HETRA in one word I would say Creative, because they always find different and cool ways to make each kid there successful in whatever they need help with. I find that really cool to see and to be able to participate in. I feel like every single time I go there I’ve gained confidence in myself. I’ve realized that riding horses helps me build strength in my legs and it helps me keep on going and keep on walking.”

  • Thanks
  • Hy-Vee
  • Darrell & Coe Leta Logemann
    Darrell & Coe Leta Logemann
  • Thanks
  • Moving Parts
    Moving Parts
  • Union Pacific
    Union Pacific
  • Thanks Sponsors
    Thanks Sponsors
  • Rotellas

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