Lucy Bowen started at Happy Trails just before her sixth birthday. She began as a participant in the Equine-Assisted Therapy classes with Certified Instructor and Occupational Therapist Klara Bergtholdt. Lucy’s parents were looking for something that would provide her with physical activity and that she could enjoy outside the home.
Before Lucy was born, her mother, Emily, had heard about Happy Trails from a college friend who volunteered with the organization and from a presentation she had heard given at her Soroptimist Club. Emily could not have foreseen that her path would cross with Happy Trails’ years down the road.
Lucy was born with heart complications, and was diagnosed with Williams syndrome shortly thereafter. This is a rare condition affecting one in 10,000 people, and is diagnosed with specific genetic testing. Lucy has had 10 surgeries since birth, the last one occurring at three-and-a-half years old. Surprisingly, she enjoys going to see her doctor. She likes her health provider and everyone at the office, so check-ups are easy for her.
Now Lucy is in third grade at Oak Grove Elementary. Being home during COVID was “torture” for her but also gave Emily a chance to see how much Lucy loves school. “Zoom meetings didn’t hold her back from wanting to interact. Always craving social interaction and companionship, Lucy is the ‘Queen of Participation’,” says Emily. Now that she is back at school, Happy Trails staff asked what her favorite subject is. Emily laughed and, without flinching, said, “Recess, of course!” She also said Lucy is good at it!
Lucy has advanced from her time with Klara and now participates in Therapeutic Riding classes. She is currently riding the 2020 Region 11 Horse of the Year, Rootin’ Tootin’ Ridge D’lite. The instructors at Happy Trails all agree Lucy shows great concern to those around her, and is always eager to know what each lesson has in store. Her zeal to be part of the group and learn “what’s next” makes her a delight to have in any class.
In her short time here, Lucy has gained a good sense of independence and autonomy. Her parents are impressed with her horsemanship skills. Mostly, they love that she has some place to go that is all her own!