A horse therapy program in Oologah is giving its young riders a special surprise.
Bit by Bit is a nonprofit organization in Oolagah. The program provides over 500 physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions per month. Some even include the use of hippotherapy.
On Monday, kids and their families drove by in a parade, just to say hello to their horses. Rider Margo Moore saw her horse, "King" for the first time in months.
“King and I are best friends!” Margo said. Margo's mom Jennifer Moore said her daughter has missed riding King.
"He's kind of a big, gentle giant and takes her around. It helped her with her stability, her overall growth, fine motor, confidence, and speech. She has gotten so much confidence from doing horseback riding each week," said Moore.
Bit by Bit had to stop lessons for the season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Founder Linda Barron said it was not just tough for the riders, but also the horses and volunteers.
"Everything ended so abruptly and for kids that we serve, transitioning is a very difficult thing for them," Barron said.
Other riders waved and greeted their horses and were in turn greeted by smiling volunteers.
Although Bit by Bit does not offer summer rides, it’s making an exception this year. Because so many rides were cancelled due to COVID-19, the program is working to offer individual rides inside its barn for a few children this summer. Moore hopes her daughter can sit on the saddle soon.
"I'm hoping that for the children, especially in young adults, this it brings encouragement and show them “Bit by Bit” is not over," Barron said.
Bit by Bit volunteers say they will resume their regular schedule in the fall, with all the COVID-19 safety precautions in place; those precautions include volunteers wearing masks and gloves and decreasing the number of riders allowed in the barn.
For more information on Bit by Bit, click here for their website.