Tonka at Baja Horses & Equine Assisted Therapy Program

Tonka was adopted out to Baja Horses for training and to be a lesson horse. Eventually he may become a therapy horse. This will be his permanent home and he will be one of Lynn Lazzarini’s horses! I will be happy to visit him regularly when I’m in Mexico!

Tonka arrived in Baja, Mexico about three weeks ago.  He’s been settling in really well and enjoying his new life.  He’s in a nice paddock that overlooks the arena so he can observe all the goings on.

Lynn has started to work with Tonka and feels he’s a very good student, cooperative and kind.  As with all the horses here, they go on a two month hiatus during the hottest part of the summer.  Lynn hopes to have ridden him before the summer break commences.  Eventually Tonka will be used for the many trail rides Lynn organizes around the area, as a lesson horse for private students and eventually as a therapy horse.  Tonka is a really good candidate for therapy as he’s gentle, not spooky and loves handling & attention.  He’s a very trusting guy and I’m certain he’ll love the kids and his very important job of taking care of them.  One of our friends & donors, Joe, loves hanging out with Tonka & feeding him carrots.  I personally think he’s a giant love bug!!  He’s such a beautiful chestnut and just shines like a copper penny.

The Equine Assisted Therapy Program at Baja Horses is a well run & professionally managed volunteer operation.  Yvonne is a volunteer Program Director and organizes the volunteers, lesson & safety equipment.  Adriana is the school psychologist and is always on-site.  Careful case notes are written off of a detailed lesson plan.  The Group Instructor is Lynn who also volunteers her time & horses.  She is currently in the last phase of getting full certification as a PATH instructor.  Yvonne comes from a professional background in therapy from Texas.  Thus this is a beautiful project to behold.

What’s even more important is that it’s changing the lives of kids.  Perceptions are changing in Mexico but for the most part disabled children are kept at home and out of school and mostly out of sight.  Programs like these are rarely available to them.  There is a little boy named Diego who is severely autistic and non verbal.  When he’s on a horse he generally lights up and even smiles.  It makes all of us so happy to see this.  He’s come very far after more than 2 years of classes.  It’s done him a lot of good but even more so to his family, particularly his mother, who carefully films all the sessions.  With regard to this program, Neigh Savers made a significant financial contribution to assist in buying panels so the arena will be a completely safe & secure environment.  We felt this was a really good investment.  Then, we sent Tonka there as well to be adopted by Lynn.  Enjoy these photos of the program.

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