Exciting news from Square Peg ranch! The beginning of 2015 has brought so much joy and enthusiasm for our little canyon tucked away in the Half Moon Bay hills.

 

1- TV crew to Square Peg

Square Peg was chosen to filmed for national television this past month. America’s Best Racing has partnered with Autism Speaks and NBC Sports.

The film crew spent a whole day filming and laughing with our kids, families, horses, and volunteers. We had 8 families who were able to be interviewed and have their own feature in the program. It was a long day, but amazing to be able to watch our kids and families brave the cameras and share their love for our program. Our OTTBs looked shiny and fat, kids happy and smiling, and families grateful. We are so excited to see the final clips air sometime in June!

 

2- Back riding on Gigi and Stanley

We have been working and working, and have successfully immersed two of our sassiest and most rhythmic OTTBs into the back riding program. We recently were separated with our only two back riding horses and found ourselves staring at our only 12.2hh pony- poor Rickie. Not to fret though, our OTTBs came through- as they always do. Gigi, who never actually raced (they couldn’t get her in the gate- did someone say sassy?) and Stanley, who got the nickname, Terror of Bay Meadows, have carried almost a dozen children now through the gaits in our laps. So happy to have implemented our OTTBs into the program

 

3- Adult programs at Square Peg

We recently have had an influx of adults on the spectrum that have found their way to Square Peg. In the past month or so, we have had almost 5 new additions to the Square Peg crew, all autists over the age of 20. One of the hardest things is that services are generally geared toward children and support is cut off at 20ish. I had a parent tell me about the IEP nightmares of her child, now 18. Her family was basically told that group homes and services are being cut & that within 5 years they will need to figure it all out on their own. Her mom also mentioned that the ranch was where she was happiest and hopes in the future her daughter can work and live there- we are counting on it. Square Peg is a place for everyone, of all abilities and abilities, and I have so enjoyed meeting them. I am hearing about the college struggle, driving troubles, and issues in relationship situations; all of the things that I have never encountered before with my younger students. Some of them have never ridden before, some for 10 years, but all are enjoying the sunshine, movement, and sparkle that the horses and environment provide them.