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by riding horses. Grindler is full of tales
about riders who have learned to walk
again, or even just smile again, after a
few weeks on horseback, whether it’s
loops around the paddock or a leisurely
clop through the countryside.
Most dramatically, she tells the story
of Kid, a 40-year-old horse (one of the
oldest in the country) that has lived
at Cedar Creek since 1997. “I tried to
retire Kid in 2006,” she says. “He was
37. Kid got depressed, really hung his
head low.” Soon enough, a young man
named Jeremy Hardin arrived at the
center. Lately, his cerebral palsy had
begun to require that he take frequent
rest breaks during a ride, which was
difficult for Grindler’s younger horses.
“I pulled Kid out of pasture,” Grindler
recalls, “because I knew he wouldn’t
“The next day,” she continues, “Kid
trotted right into the feed area, spun
himself around, and basically an-
nounced, ‘I’m back in business, baby!’
I think the horses know they’re help-
ing. I see them arc their necks and look
back at the rider. I think they like their
work.” Jeremy doesn’t speak, but his
parents say he loves his time with Kid.
“He’s smiling all the time” as he rides,
says his mother, Debbie Hardin.