I am writing this letter with so much gratitude for STaRS. My son (18 yrs old) who is severely Autistic and non-verbal is all smiles as he arrives for his lessons. He loves riding and tries his best to follow directions and use his words to communicate with his therapist. This is actually the highlight of his week as he is not able to participate in any other structured activities. We have noticed at home that when he rides regularly he is much more content and able to regulate his behaviours and functions during the day. When he is not in lessons, he is not as happy, more easily aggravated and not able to control/ regulate himself making it more difficult for himself and those around him. The benefits that my son gets from Therapeutic Riding enrich his life tremendously and allow him to participate in something he loves so much . This is also evident in seeing his interactions with the horses - intuitive and gentle. Thank you so much for giving my son this opportunity to have Therapeutic Riding in his life and thank you in advance for any future lessons my son may continue with. 

A STaRS Parent

I would like to thank STARS therapeutic riding for all the different ways they have helped my son. It is because of their efforts that he has made so much progress in so many ways. My son has autism, and is nonverbal. He has a lot of anxiety, and in the past has been frightened of animals, especially dogs. Since starting riding with STARS four years ago, he has shown great improvements, not only in riding skills such as balance and strength, but also in communication and confidence. At first, he was quite reluctant to get on the pony, but his patient and understanding instructors gave him time and space to work through his anxieties. He was mounting the pony by himself a few sessions later, and began to really enjoy his trail rides. Exposure to horses and other animals around the barn has made him much better able to cope with the unexpected (even dogs!) in other environments. His therapists and teachers at school have all commented on how his regulation and communication continues to improve. His STARS instructors have been great, making the sessions extra fun with games and “tricks” on the pony while encouraging and prompting him to communicate his wants. I want to thank STARS very much for accepting my son into the program and working with him to achieve these great improvements. Keep up all the good work! Sincerely, A STaRS Parent

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