I know I can overcome my fears.
A story of bravery
Kameriah, 9, timidly backed away from the stall where Chrissy, a horse with a coat that looks like Oreo cookie ice cream. She’d never been close to a horse and wanted no part of Chrissy. “I’m scared,” she said.
So the therapeutic horsemanship volunteers went to work. They got Kameriah to walk next to Chrissy -- albeit six feet away -- but watched her retreat once again when they asked if she wanted to brush the horse. Tears welled in Kameriah’s eyes. This was supposed to be her first horse-riding experience. It wasn’t happening.
Then came another suggestion: Would she want to help her friend, Jaliyah, comb her horse, Dillon? “OK,” she said softly. Side-by-side, Jaliyah and Kameriah gently brushed the mane of the horse. Then a volunteer brought in a spunky reinforcement, Willie the Shetland pony, whose smallish, less-intimidating stature was just the right size for Kameriah. She brushed the pony and even braided his mane – big steps for a little girl who just minutes earlier looked ready to leave. She took an even bigger step 15 minutes later – over Chrissy’s back and onto the saddle.
“I did it!” she said.