Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program Helps Long-Time Rider Get Back Out During COVID-19

CLOVER, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) — COVID-19 forced many organizations to temporarily shut down including, RideAbility, a therapeutic horse back riding program in Clover.

15-year-old Tony Gregoriou has been a long-time rider at RideAbility. His mother, Dee Dee Gregoriou, says riding has helped Tony’s autism in unique ways.

“When we first came here Wendy said she knew the perfect horse for him. And Tony went right over to the horse he was calm,” Dee Dee said. “When he got on the horse he was poised, his posture was straight it was like he was very confident.”

Since the start of COVID-19, Tony has been too afraid of the virus to even leave the house. He hadn’t left the house for more than 5 minutes in more than 4 months, until he got a special surprise.

“We tried everything we tried social stories from his occupational therapist, speech therapist, so many people were trying to help him,” Dee Dee said. “Wendy, she would send videos personal video speaking to Tony and we still couldn’t get him get him out. So when she said why don’t we bring the horses to you… I was like, ‘what?'”

Wendy Schonfeld, RideAbility’s Executive Director, said “we decided as a team…why don’t we bring horses to his house it might help him get him out of his house.”

In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson reports the organization’s leaders recently took their horses on a special trip to see one young rider.

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