Although Ellie began receiving therapy at a year old, she was unable to understand or follow commands prior to joining us at BDF.

“For the first hippo session she rode Shorty and absolutely loved it. In the weeks to follow, she had hippo sessions and rode Shorty almost every time. Within a short period of time she started using her pointer finger to touch words on the iPad to communicate, and we started to notice she was able to follow some simple commands that she was previously unable to do. Even when she was asked to do something she didn’t want to do, during hippo sessions she didn’t react like she normally would by throwing a fit. Compared to her prior progress in a clinical setting, it has been amazing to see how far she has come in such a short amount of time through hippotherapy.”

Devon Fowler
Ellie′s mother

“I can’t imagine life without horses.  Over the years, I have had countless opportunities to work with children and horses, witnessing the magical bond that develops between the two when brought together.  While each relationship is different, I am always astonished by the trust, skills and accomplishments that develop. BDF made a huge positive impact on many of my public school students over the years…memories they nor I will never forget.  Our local community is fortunate to have access to a therapeutic riding program such as BDF.  It has been an honor to be a board member.”

Marie Babcock
Board Member

“I got involved with BDF through a friend whose son benefits from hippo therapy at BDF.  Years ago she asked if I could help fundraise.  I helped and that led to volunteering with lessons.  I LOVE volunteering with the lessons and have been with BDF for over eight years now.  I LOVE spending time with the kids and seeing them progress through their lessons.  I love seeing the kids light up and smile when they are riding, too! Donald and I support BDF because we know how beneficial the program is to the kids and how expensive it is to maintain a horse barn.”

Kelly Hansford
Wife of Donald Hansford of Law Office of Donald Hansford

“It warms our hearts to see Gianna riding each week. We feel that there is someone else, a team, helping her to be the best she can be. It gives us hope that she will be able to use these strengths to help her in her adult life, and possibly live more independently, because we see her determination. We are so grateful to BDF!”

Barbara Parker
Gianna′s mother

“The vision of Butterfly Dreams touches so many people in so many ways from our riders, to the families. The volunteers, to staff, the board. Even to the farrier. I get to see these horses on a regular basis and I know they are special, set apart to make a difference. That’s exactly what they are doing. Being a part of it is making a difference for all of us.”

Jamie Williamson

“I think that teaching hands on skills to take care of something is important. It is fun to see the ESP participants care for something because they’re always getting taken care of. It is nice to have them in a different setting. It is great to have a place like Butterfly Dreams for our kids to get to interact with their friends and the horses.”

– Taylor (Intern at ESP)

“Eli was unsure about getting on a horse at first. Now, he can’t wait to ride the horses at Butterfly Dreams! He calls the horse “horse.” Since he’s been riding, his posture has gotten so much better. Eli usually slouches while sitting, but while he is sitting up on the horse he sits upright. He is always so calm after riding. Though it does get him to talk more because he wants to talk about the horses.”

– Jamie Clark (Eli’s Mom)