2017 Horse Show PhotosJune 7, 2017
Thank you to everyone who supported our 35th Annual Pegasus Horse Show during Transformations Weekend on May 19-20, 2017! We hope you had a wonderful time celebrating our amazing participants and the opening of the Michele Arnhold Education Center!
We've posted photo highlights of the Horse Show and our Transformations Weekend events (the Michele Arnhold Education Center parade and ribbon-cutting, and our cocktail event) to our YouTube channel. Enjoy!
The word "transformations" has many meanings for Pegasus this year.
We are opening a new facility, the Michele Arnold Education Center; we are launching a new program for veterans, Pegasus Patriots; and most importantly, we are celebrating the many ways our programs have made a significant difference in the lives of our participant families.
We asked some of our longtime families to let us know in their own words the impact Pegasus has had over the years, and here are some of their responses:
CHRISTOPHER’S MOTHER, MARIA:
Christopher was only 2 years old when I put him on the waiting list for Pegasus.
As a special needs family, we have been involved in many different programs throughout the years, and we have found none are as well run or have had any sense of longevity.
We feel riding such a large animal has given Christopher confidence. One of our goals is that through riding, Christopher’s body can feel what it is like to have a normal walking gait.
We will continue with Pegasus as long as they will have Christopher.
CHARLIE AND WILL’S MOTHER, DAWN:
Charlie started riding when he was only 4 or 5 years old. He was extremely afraid, and at that time non-verbal, and he made it clear he wanted no part of being anywhere near a horse. Betsy and her staff worked their magic and had Charlie up in the saddle and smiling in no time.
Will has truly been involved in Pegasus his entire life, as I went into the beginning phases of labor with him during one of Charlie’s lessons! He started riding at 3 or 4 and has enjoyed riding ever since.
It’s hard to put into words what Pegasus has meant to our family for the last 15 years. Pegasus provides a safe place to work on physical, behavioral and emotional challenges—all while having FUN!
The boys have developed the following skills: communication (they both learned to talk in the Pegasus years), independence, being part of a group, listening, attending, organization, accountability and, probably most importantly, a great compassion toward people and animals. It is our goal to have our boys continue their journey with Pegasus for many years to come.
RYAN’S MOTHER, PAMELA:
Ryan has been with Pegasus since about 2008. He moved from riding the horses to caring for the horses, and this was much more impactful to his development. It involves paying attention, social skills, taking accountability, and overall helping him feel he is making an impact.
I believe being involved with Pegasus has certainly helped Ryan with his goals, and we are excited about his continued growth. Pegasus allows Ryan to feel good about himself and gives him something to look forward to doing.
JULIETTE’S MOTHER, JILL:
Our daughter Juliette became a Pegasus rider in middle school. She was socially uncomfortable in many situations and her language development lagged significantly behind her peers. But she had always loved horses.
Our family was so lucky to begin the Pegasus experience with Betsy Medinger at Corgi Hollow. Buggy rides and Halloween costume events and other bonding experiences emboldened Juliette socially and created a connection with other riders. It was Betsy of all people who first noticed that Juliette was no longer on a medication that had subdued her and tamped down her sparkly personality.
Juliette went off to boarding school for five years, and when graduating at 21 years old and returning to Connecticut—a scary challenge—her one enduring wish was to return to Pegasus. Once again luck came our way and at the new location in Brewster, Juliette found her niche again. And a volunteer job as well in the Rider's Closet.
Juliette was rider of the year in 2012, and Pegasus went out of their way to arrange for Georgina Bloomberg, who founded the Rider's Closet and was Juliette's idol, to present her with her trophy, leading to a very special friendship both with Georgina and extensive family of animals and son.
For our family's journey, Pegasus has been a touchstone, a link to a social world missing in our daughter's younger days, a base of connection and growth that drew our daughter back to Connecticut with the enduring image of her return to Pegasus, where she was accepted, supported and allowed to shine.
Always grateful. Thank you Pegasus Family.
ALEXANDRA’S FATHER, ED:
Alexandra started her first riding session in the summer of 2010 when she was nine. As physical therapy, Alex’s experience at Pegasus has surpassed her therapist’s expectations for building trunk strength and improving her balance. It has also proven to be excellent speech therapy; nothing else motivates Alex to try to express herself verbally as much as telling us about horses and riding.
But Alex has no idea her time at Pegasus is therapy. For her, the best hour of the week is the hour she spends with ‘her’ horses. Every activity in the saddle is her favorite activity, and she loves the unmounted sessions in the barn just as much.
Alex’s time at Pegasus farm enriches her life beyond measure. She would not be the happy, confident young lady she is without it. I am proud of what Alex has accomplished as a rider, delighted that she has found a passion in horses, and grateful to Pegasus for making all of this possible.
AITAN’S MOTHER, JILL:
Aitan has attended Pegasus since he was about 6 years old, and began in Roxbury, CT.
My goal was to help him grow by physically being more capable, and stronger, more talkative, and confident.
Another new parent watching their child ride for first time once asked me, "Does it work?" I answered, "It ALL works!"
The more I have engaged Aitan in a variety of activities—Boy Scouts, swimming lessons, etc.—the more he has reached those goals.
Pegasus helped him to do two things at once. He would be sitting on a horse and had to focus to stay on, but he also was being challenged mentally by having to do a bunch of different activities at the same time (like throw a ball into a basket, or hang something on a hook, etc.). He has become more well-rounded and confident as he has mastered riding and increased his ability to focus. This has impacted me by feeling overwhelming pride in him. I think in yet another area of his life it has shown me, "He is capable!"
MAX'S FATHER, BERNIE:
Max began at Pegasus many years ago. He has developed more self-esteem and coordination as a result of Pegasus. We were hoping Max would have fun. He has done that and so much more.
Pegasus has allowed us to better understand how horses can have a positive impact on the lives of individuals with special needs.
LORENA’S MOTHER, LIZ:
Lorena must have been 4 or 5 years old when she started riding with Pegasus, and now she attends riding and horsemanship lessons at Pegasus Farm, where we have witnessed an amazing transformation.
The first time Lorena sat on a horse many years ago, I could see that the whole experience was hard for her. It is wonderful to see her now so at ease around horses.
Lorena greatly enjoys riding and doesn’t even realize that at the same time, she is strengthening her core muscles, developing her fine motor skills, becoming more organized, increasing her self-confidence, and making new friends.
During Lorena’s lessons, my husband and I look forward to spending relaxing time with a caring and similar-minded group of people, knowing that Lorena is doing an activity that she loves and benefits her!
DASHA’S MOTHER, DAWN:
Dasha joined Pegasus at the Brewster farm when she was 7 years old.
Her love and affection for horses has deepened. The bond she shares with them truly is inspiring as she speaks so fondly of them by name to family and friends. The horses are her passion! Additionally, the dedicated staff have become our second family. Each of them extend compassion, learning, and skill to expand my daughter's knowledge of riding. She has a great respect for the rules and guidelines of Pegasus, beginning with entering the campus, behaviors required around the horses and awareness of their needs. Pegasus has been and continues to be a lifeline for our family.
When we first began, I was happy that my daughter was accepted where she was at. The program was designed to meet her needs while allowing her the freedom to find her comfort zone to start. This comfort level has grown through the expertise of the trainers, volunteers and staff. The goals and expectations designed for her growth was manifested in each lesson, activity, horse show, communication, feedback and hugs. The friendships that have developed have enabled my daughter to build self-esteem, and gain appropriate social skills. Riding is her everything!!
The positive impact is indescribable. Pegasus is caring, professional, highly skilled, top notch, exceeds standards, above and beyond, professional, meticulous about fine details, compassionate, fun, and our family is forever grateful to be part of this amazing program!
BRIAN’S MOTHER, CONNIE:
Brian started Pegasus several years ago when the program in Newtown was still active. I don’t remember how many years.
Brian loves the program, and it has helped with his balance and torso strength, and listening and following instructions. We are very happy with how the program has incorporated his love of music and the use of sign language.
I can’t say enough about how good this program is for Brian and how much he enjoys it. We love to see him have something that is special for him! Thank you for all that you do!
Thank you to all our families who shared their Pegasus experiences with us!
Pegasus would also like to thank the following Transformations Weekend sponsors for their generous support of our 35th Annual Pegasus Horse Show. It's all for the participants, and we are truly grateful!