Thursday, April 17, 2008

Equest Center - Therapeutic Riding

On a very muggy day last September I had the privilege of spending a couple of hours shooting for The Equest Center in Rockford. EC is a therapeutic riding center.

But you won't find therapists in white lab coats...gentle horses and ponies are the therapists here, thank you very much. The patients are children; great kids with any number of severe physical and mental challenges. To say I was moved wouldn't begin to describe what I saw there.

The horses are magical. They seem to know they carry especially fragile cargo as well as the weight of dreams on their shoulders...dreams of escaping gravity for a while. I watched kids who were contorted, twisted and confined to their wheelchairs begin to grow wings once placed up in the saddle. 

A few other kids appeared locked inside their own mental world; seemingly not connecting with humans. But they would begin to smile, laugh or shriek with joy as they rode their horse.

I haven't shaken the experience yet. It's been 7 months since I visited The Equest Center and I still feel inspired, grateful and heartbroken every time I see these photos.

Consider a small donation...they go through a lot of hay.

1 comment:

kelly said...

Brian Kelly has captured intimate moments true to the heart of the "Equest" experience. Use of light and composition is beautifully shown upon the faces of our horses, riders,volunteers, and staff. Brian has given us a great gift within his own gift of photography and capturing the human element, allowing us to pass along our mission to help those who are in need find a healing and spiritual need.

Kelly Wujkowski
Volunteer Coordinator/Instructor
The Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding