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Hearts & Hooves provides equine assisted activities to persons with disabilities and is located in Sherwood AR, just outside of the Little Rock/North Little Rock city limits. Hearts & Hooves enriches the lives of people with disabilities through partnership with the horse.
People are always interested in the equine stars of our program. So please enjoy this spotlight on one of our amazing four-legged therapists, and one of his favorite riders!
Metronome was named for his rhythmic trot, and the way his tail sways back in forth in perfect rhythm trotting happily around the arena. He's a small, laid-back, seal brown thoroughbred gelding who became the hero of many little girls and boys in the jumping arena at lesson time. Sadly, age started hitting Met pretty hard when he was about 20, and he wasn't able to continue the demanding work of being a lesson horse over jumps.
But rather than retire this sweet boy to pasture, Met's owner knew that he had more to give. She donated him to Hearts & Hooves in 2009. Met's years of experience with beginning riders and his naturally laid-back, take-life-as-it-comes attitude makes him a wonderful Therapy Horse here at Hearts & Hooves. While he doesn't jump anymore, he's still sound, willing and patient, and excels in work on the flat. Metronome carries many special equestrians each week, all of whom have a mental, physical or emotional challenge. One of Met's biggest fans is Chris, an adult who comes to us in a wheelchair each week. Met stands quietly in the wheelchair ramp while Chris mounts, and follows his volunteer leader contentedly until Chris's muscles are warmed up enough for the lead rope to come off. Then Met becomes Chris's partner in independence. Chris' disabilities turn into abilities as he guides Metronome around the arena or on the trail without a leader's assistance. Metronome gives Chris freedom that he'd never experienced before therapeutic riding. Not only that, Metronome helps to relax Chris' tight muscles for decreased pain and an easier night's sleep, strengthens Chris' core muscles, and challenges him to increase his courage, improve his self-esteem and gain pride in his weekly achievements.
We are so glad to have Metronome as an equine partner. This "four-legged therapist" means freedom, independence and friendship to Chris, and to many others. Metronome is an amazing animal who has given so much over the course of his life, even well into his 20s.