Shae Pike came to Happy Trails in 2007 when she was four years old. She was referred by the Bright Start Parent Infant Program of Tulare County.
The first couple of years Shae worked with instructor Klara Bergtholdt in Equine Assisted Therapy classes to address the weakness in her lower body and limbs. Eventually she was diagnosed with a tethered spinal cord and subsequently had surgery to repair it. Afterward, with strengthening exercises, her posture improved and leg weakness decreased.
Shae has also been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. In recent years, it has been overwhelming at times. Being at Happy Trails has helped overcome her anxiousness and ultimately improve her self-esteem.
On the flip side, Shae has a competitive streak in her. She consistently excels at the annual Happy Trails Horse Show. “Shae powers through whatever she’s asked to do,” her instructor, Nicole Payne tells us. “She’s a Rockstar!”
In her time here, she has worked with 12+ Happy Trails program horses. Although she has enjoyed all of them, her best memories are with Red at CalNet 2014. Lisa Cotta-Meek remembers Shea, usually quiet and shy, competing at age 11. “It surprised me to see the confidence and can-do attitude she displayed at the show. She really stepped up her game and taught me to never underestimate her!”
Her mother Cyndy has enjoyed her time at Happy Trails where she gets the opportunity to visit with other parents of similar age riders. The stories and advice shared has proven very helpful while raising her only child. As a teacher who is currently homeschooling her daughter, Cindy also appreciates the social interaction Shae has with her friends at Happy Trails.
Watching Shae grow from a toddler to a lovely young lady has been a joy for all of us!