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Horses help children with prosthetic limbs

7:23 PM, Apr 23, 2011   |    comments
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  • Samantha Fraser of Dunwoody took part in McKeever's First Ride, a horse therapy program for children with prosthetic limbs.
  • McKeever's First Ride is a horse therapy program for children with prosthetic limbs.
  • Taevan Grant took part in McKeever's First Ride, a horse therapy program for children with prosthetic limbs.
  • Jayden House of Kennesaw took part in McKeever's First Ride, a horse therapy program for children with prosthetic limbs.
  • Dan McKeever is the inspiration for McKeever's First Ride. He was a pioneer in the orthodic and prosthetic field.
    

ATLANTA -- There was no fear or hesitation as a group of children with prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces took their first horseback rides at Chastain Horse Park on Saturday.

"It was amazing," said Alene Grant, whose son, Taevan, 6, lost his right leg in a car accident four years ago. "It's just wonderful to watch him."

"I had a great time," said Taevan, a patient in theChildren's Healthcare of Atlanta Orthotics and Prosthetics Program.

Saturday's ride was the result of a new partnership between Children's and McKeever's First Ride.

Deenie McKeever started the program three years to honor her late father, Dan McKeever, a pioneer in the orthotic and prosthetic field. 

"He wanted to see people be the best they could be and stretch for that, and that's what these children are doing today," said Deenie McKeever. "We've found that as they ride, the horse's movement feels like their legs moving. So it feels like they're walking with their own legs."

Jayden House of Kennesaw was all smiles as he rode atop an Appaloosa named "Dixie."

House had a birth defect and began wearing a prosthetic leg when he was just 18 months old.

"He's doing awesome," said Jayden's mother, Jessica. "He's amazed me. He's a courageous little boy."

Samantha Fraser of Dunwoody wore a pair of cowboy boots for the ride. She loves horses so much that she has a horse design on her prosthetic leg.

"She's not afraid of anything," said Samantha's mother, Susan.





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