By Miriam Raftery
|Avery Titus rides tall in the saddle at The Magic Horse, guided by riding therapist/founder Robin Pawl. Before, he could not sit up on his own.
September 2008 (Lakeside)--Ten-year-old Avery Titus squeals with delight, pressing his face against the sun-warmed backside of Iggy, a quarterhorse at the Magic Horse Therapeutic Riding program in Lakeside.
"Before, he couldn't sit up on his own," recalled Avery's father, Clay. "Now he can sit and not fall over."
Avery has cerebral palsy, brain damage and learning disabilities. But his older brother, Chandler, observed, "That doesn't stop him from being this happy kid."
Magic Horse founder Robin Pawl has Avery demonstrate the exercises he's learned to do on horseback. Motions of the horse beneath him simulate pelvic movement, helping Avery to improve his coordination skills, strengthen his back muscles and improve his sense of balance.