Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Parent to Parent: Fidelis Foundation
Learning how to ride and take care of horses is not just a fun way for kids to spend the day, it's helping heal some broken hearts and boost self-confidence. In today's Parent to Parent, Lynn Martinez shows us how one group is doing amazing work by pairing horses with kids in need.
WSVN -- Stacy Gormley is working her own special brand of magic at the Sport Horse International Barn today.
Stacy Gormley: "Who knows what this is used for?"
A former foster parent and professional trainer, Stacy is the founder of the Fidelis Foundation Volunteers who give foster care kids and others in need a chance to hang out with some very special horses.
Stacy Gormley: "I started realizing there's a pretty big need for this, for an outlet and a refuge for these kids to come to and just be able to have a good time and be loved by a horse and learn how to be a part of a loving relationship."
Here at the Delray Beach Barn, these kids learn about caring for horses.
Abby Romeo: "You use a curry comb first to get all the dirt off, and it feels like a massage."
But, best of all, they learn how to saddle up and ride.
Nine-year-old Cameron has been coming here for more than a year now.
Cameron Nagao: "I get to ride them and I get to learn about how to ride, and I just get better and better at learning and doing it."
By handling the horses, the kids learn confidence, discipline and responsibility, too.
Hope Anderson: "I like hanging out with the horses and tacking them up and loving them."
Trade secret, there is absolutely nothing like hugging a horse.
Since they've been coming, the Romeo family sees a big difference in their adopted and foster kids.
Jan Romeo: "They've learned to care about someone, something else because the horses are really important to them. It's been a great experience for all of us. It's therapeutic being out around horses."
Stacey says it's been amazing to watch the kids learn to ride and develop real relationships with the horses.
Stacy Gormley: "I feel like I kind of have a front seat to watching their lives change for the better, so it's been a pretty cool experience for me to come alongside them and be able to impact their lives through this program."
Right now, it's only for South Florida kids, but one day, Fidelis Foundation hopes to take the program coast to coast.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode