Guest Blogger – Casey Martinez

Riding horses is my passion. Horses provide a feeling of freedom and power that is rare in the modern world. I have been riding since I was five years old, and I take pride in my devotion and love for the horses. Every week I drive to Half Moon Bay to volunteer at the Square Peg Foundation, help with cleaning and lessons, and spend time riding. I believe there is only one thing better than working with horses; helping others experience horses. I am fortunate enough to share this feeling with a young girl every week. Rebecca suffers from cerebral palsy, making her unable to walk without help. Horses allow her to be a normal kid. I pony Rebecca every week; I ride alongside her, controlling her horse with the lead rope.

This experience not only allows me to help Rebecca but it helps me become a better person. Ponying has taught me patience. I must deal with the different personalities of the horses, as well as Rebecca’s fears. I introduce her to unfamiliar things slowly to keep her feeling safe. Rebecca has also taught me to be appreciative. She has shown me things that I take for granted, from my legs to my sense of humor. Rebecca has taught me to love another person, despite disabilities or handicaps, and to use that love to help overcome difficulties.

Ponying Rebecca has presented me with feelings of accomplishment and pride. I give her the chance to take control of movement, a simple act that she struggles with every day. My experience with horses and my calm, approachable behavior creates a comfortable learning environment where she can get the help she needs. While my job may seem simple, it is really much more. I have learned to be a companion and a friend. My cheerful personality and sense of humor creates a place where Rebecca can feel accepted and safe. I believe it is important to make her feel loved, and I take every chance to make her laugh. Nothing makes me happier than to know that I am providing her with a moment of support and pure happiness that everyone deserves.

Rebecca has given me the chance to share my love for horses and to help her become a part of this lifestyle. I help her fit in to a world where it is difficult to be different. By helping her, I allow her cheerful and optimistic view on life to teach me qualities that will help me succeed. I have learned patience, appreciation, and love. Rebecca’s undying charm and determination have left their mark on me. I recognize the power that I have and my potential to help others.

You can see Casey and her friend Rebecca riding and lauging together here:

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