ODESSA (FOX 13) – After months of practice, Mike Bates and Susan Groover are ready to show the crowd at Quantum Leap Farm in Odessa their duet ride routine, also known as a pas de deux.
“We were a little bit nervous starting off because we’ve performed with practice crowds but this was like the final performance,” said Groover,
“You’re not just working to keep your horse going. You actually have to synchronize it with the other rider and pay attention how fast your horse is going, how slow,” said Jenna Miller, the program director for Quantum Leap Farm.
This experience is both challenging and therapeutic for them. Both have been coming to Quantum Leap Farm for years.
Riding horses is helping Groover with her rheumatoid arthritis and Bates with his multiple sclerosis.
“This place is my little slice of heaven,” said Bates. “It helps me out immensely with my mind and my body.”
“I’ve made a lot of improvement. It’s helped with my walking and the stiffness in my joints and reduce the pain given me a little more range of motion,” said Groover.
They’ve formed tight bonds too.
“They really become part of our family here and so they are supported by others who are going through different struggles,” said Miller.
They’ve found a form of healing through horseback and nailed their routine to a cheering crowd.
For information on the equine-assisted therapy programs at Quantum Leap Farm, visit www.quantumleapfarm.org