Sharon Loring is a lovely, unassuming woman. She lives in a group home in Brainerd and works in-house for Productive Alternatives. Sharon loves to be out and about, doing some shopping or just to have a look around. A trip that she considers special is her trip to the barn on Tuesday evenings to horseback ride with the Mounted Eagles therapeutic horsemanship program. Sharon walks in quietly and gives a little wave and a big smile as you greet her. She then finds her helmet and prepares for her ride. When it’s her turn to ride, she walks up the mounting ramp and waits patiently to mount her favorite horse, a bay Arabian named Ace. Once mounted on Ace, she listens carefully to her coach and then asks Ace to walk on. She walks Ace around the arena and then does her stretches as requested.
Next, Sharon focuses on the verbal requests from her coach to ride to the different parts of the arena. She needs very little correction as she always remembers what she has been taught in previous les- sons. Sharon has autism and anxiety disorder. She is able to walk and trot very nicely but prefers to quietly walk her horse sitting tall in her saddle. She worked very hard practicing the pole bending and the keyhole events for this year’s Participant Horse Show in November. Sharon received two second place ribbons for her efforts! We were very proud of her!
Along with riding at Mounted Eagles, Sharon loves going to Camp Confidence a few times every month through all seasons. She enjoys being out- side and going out to eat. Playing bingo at the senior citizens center is another favorite. Sharon cooks for the residents of her group home once a week. She is given several choices of what to cook, but she really likes making lasagna the best. Sharon’s very favorite thing to do is to play computer games. She excels at Play Station, and also puzzle books and word finds. At the end of her Rider of the Quarter interview, she smiled and said “and I like anything chocolate.”
Congratulations Sharon, on being rider of the quarter and a very special lady