Wildhorse! in 2019

Wildhorse! 2019 – Mom T. Speaks about the Benefits of our Program – read her story here.

Wildhorse! in 2018

We are helping a new student with horseback riding as she also practices literacy and pronunciation. This young lady has a genetic disorder which inhibits learning and speech, and she loves riding! So we ask her to repeat words, and when she speaks, then speaks again, it is a breakthrough!


Specific areas of achievement this young lady’s parents have advised as are:

  • speech improvement
  • peer relationships
  • arithmetic and reading skills

Every lesson brings new vocabulary words, from horse anatomy to grooming tools to reins, saddle, stirrups.
Kari Ann and her volunteers and parents say, repeat and repeat the words again along with their meanings. We are thrilled that the “hear and say” method is working.
And we count steps, using Kari Ann’s singing voice (recordings to be offered soon) and ask for the young lady to repeat the numbers.

A New Horse! (sort of)

When Kari Ann made a visit to Goodwill, she found a huge stuffed horse. She gave it to the young student, hoping she would practice her riding at home, continuing to develop her gross and fine motor skills while riding a horse who is stationary but… inspiring. For reading and arithmetic skills, Kari Ann has given a short storybook in progress concerning our pony, Tony, and his longing for ‘ companionship. We hope that by the end of this academic year, our student will be reading aloud from Tony the Pony’s story.




Wildhorse in Montana

Wildhorse! is a sole proprietorship . The program began when Kari Ann Owen began preparing for her PATH International Registered Therapeutic Riding Certification. This was granted in Spring 2004. Kari Ann taught at therapeutic riding program where she had once been a student, and then founded Wildhorse.

Wildhorse currently teaches on a private ranch in Huson, Montana which is fully outfitted for Western riding, including trail riding. And Kari Ann’s and Wildhorse’s 17 years of experience has allowed us to help every rider’s type of disability from autism to Parkinson’s, depression and bulimia and even fear of horses. We have held workshops for developmentally disabled adults, and a recent clinic to help anxious riders meet their particular goals.

Please view this hilarious video of therapy horse Echo playing soccer with his rider, an autistic boy:

We accommodate all financial situations, are a Medicaid vendor and have never turned anyone away for lack of funds.

Director Kari Ann and all Wildhorse! volunteers and personnel practice Positive Management and motivate all Wildhorse! people with praise. Please contact us at saintbernardlover7@gmail.com.

Therapeutic Riding and MS:

A dialogue between Laura B., Wildhorse! Therapeutic Riding Program Student Student, and Dr. Kari Ann Owen, Ph.D., Program Director and Head Instructor of Wildhorse Therapeutic Riding Program.

Coordinated leg movements, posture, and stirrup arrangement have been extremely helpful. The stretches and balance exercises have also helped – especially the ones you showed me that I can do every day on my own in addition.
I have gained confidence in my own resilience and abilities after worrying that I would have to leave graduate school and give up on my career goals. I directly attribute this to you and to horse therapists Guinness (Salle de Francais), Trysta (Arabian), and, especially, Madison (Registered American Quarter Horse).

My recovery goals from this past flare are to regain control, coordination, and strength in my right leg/side. As I have improved the greatest signs have been my ability to lift my leg, climb the mounting block independently, dismount independently, and increase awareness of my right foot. I did not think the proprioception issues with the right foot would improve, but they have! The practice of using the stirrups has helped with learning how to compensate and have new ways of knowing what my right foot is doing. Proprioception: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The cerebellum is largely responsible for coordinating the unconscious aspects of proprioception.
Proprioception (/ˌproʊprioʊˈsɛpʃən, -priə-/PRO –o-SEP-shən ), meaning “one’s own”, “individual”, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of one’s own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.
of one’s own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.

We are attempting to hold back further development of MS and diminish its symptoms. As the axons of nerves demyelinate, Demyelination is the loss of the myelin sheath insulating the nerves, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myelin#Demyelination
The best way to preserve them is stress and – many people use the phrase “use it or lose it” in terms of demyelinated nerves. Unfortunately, as I heal from each flare this can be a very painful process. Luckily, this time the pain diminished over time. The major symptoms to focus on are:

  • strength (especially the right leg)
  • Muscle tension/spasms
  • Right foot proprioception
  • prickling sensation
  • Fatigue/Concentration
  • Postural Issues from compensating for weakness
  • Depression/Anxiety
Besides exhaustion, the increased movement of the working walk (and now the trot!) have not affected my MS as much as it is just exhausting. The exhaustion is of a good kind. It tells me that I am getting stronger and pushing myself in the ways I need in order to not eventually become . Occasionally, I will have noticed increased muscle tension after riding the Working Walk and Trot that does not seem to alleviate after stretching, but I know stretching is helping. It’s the same tension that comes from any challenging physical exertion.