Senior Amputee: Rides Horse for First Time in 50 Years!

Truly inspiring and heartwarming!

source: WCNC

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — What started as a joke between Brenda Ward and a caregiver at a retirement community turned into a dream come true for the senior amputee last week.

Conni Ortega, who works at Abernethy Laurels in Newton, said Ward mentioned something about “getting on the back of a horse and riding away” one day.

“I knew we had a program that helped grant resident’s dreams,” said Ortega. “I remember telling Brenda that I thought I could make this happen for her.”

Conni Ortega
Abernethy Laurels

Ward was nominated then selected for the “Grant a Dream” program through United Church Homes and Services. The next step was finding a horse. 

That’s where Rising Hope Farms, a non-profit therapeutic riding facility in Claremont, came into the picture.

“If there is a group of people who understand limitations and the strong desire to ride a horse, it is our amazing volunteers.”

Gail Wartner
Rising Hope Farms

“This is one of the best days I have had in a long time. I just don’t want it to end.”

Brenda Ward
Senior “Equestrian”

Calamity Jane