Sydney, to say the least, is a pioneer horseback riding at Northern Michigan Equine Therapy.
She started at the ripe old age of seven and for the next four years have molded herself, not only as permanent fixture in the NMET family, but as the go-to when a new horse needs testing. Let us explain…
Sydney is now eleven years old and has virtually ridden every horse that has roamed NMET’s pastures. Except for Tank, nobody rides Tank, but we think she would if given a chance.
As you may be aware there are a number of horses needed to endure the sometimes rigorous days filled with 15 students or more from various classrooms throughout northern Michigan. NMET sometimes sees 3-4 of these classrooms a week.
As the horse enters the pasture for the first time, there is an immediate glance at the schedule. “When is Sydney scheduled to ride next,” are usually the words coming from Courtney or JL’s mouth. As Sydney enters the aisle way she is immediately bombarded with “We have a new horse Sydney.”
It is only a few minutes later Sydney has the horse by the reigns trotting about in the indoor arena. Seeing Sydney atop of the new horse with a smile is our usual picture perfect moment. In fact, we don't think we have ever heard Sydney say she didn’t like a new horse, but we know she has a favorite.
This is Sydney. Not necessarily the daredevil some horse people would think. This is Sydney’s huge heart giving to a program she loves. Sydney’s heart is a big as her smile.
Sydney went through two horse shows over the years and recently participated in NMET”s first ever horse show. Sydney started her horse career with the late Frank and Sunny, then onto Wesley and finally settled in nicely with Ellie. Recently she fell in love with our new therapy horse, Godiva (owners Holly and Will Hanagan).
“Is there anything you have recently done at NMET that was fun?” “I had a lot of fun herding the chickens around the indoor arena with Carl,” states Sydney. “I also had a lot of fun driving Rocky in the cart with Darby (barn goat) in my lap on my birthday.”
Sydney certainly has another life beyond the barn doors as a sixth grader at Boyne City schools. We know Sydney is going to be successful in her life’s endeavors and of course as kids grow, college or life in general may get in the way of her NMET time, but when asked, Sydney stated with a smile on her face, “I will be at NMET as long as I can. I’m not leaving this place.”