Therapeutic Benefits Are Just a Ride Away at Magical Meadows
Writer / Matt Keating
Pastor Carl Adams, executive director of Magical Meadows in Warsaw, says the therapeutic horseback riding facility was created out of a love for horses.
“Tammy Stackhouse, the founder of Magical Meadows, had horses most of her life,” Adams says. “When she began to research therapeutic horseback riding, she felt that this was something that she was led to because she knew how horses were so healing in her life. With her beloved horse Magic, the two of them embarked on this journey called the Magical Meadows.”
Adams, Stackhouse and their team have enjoyed how Magical Meadows has positively impacted the Warsaw community.
“Over the past 15 years we have found that there are over 5,000 children and adults with what we call ‘different’ abilities,” Adams says of Warsaw. “We then found that during the COVID pandemic, the effects of having to stay home affected many people with feelings of depression and isolation. Because we were able to conduct our therapy sessions outside, we had an influx of people who found Magical Meadows to be a place of healing and joy.”
Adams says Magical Meadows, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, offers several therapeutic benefits.
“For those with physical disabilities, the movement of the horse is how we actually move when we walk and run,” he says. “Therefore, horseback riding makes the riders’ muscles engage, even when it is difficult for them to do it on their own.”
Adams says people with learning disabilities and those on the autism spectrum work on using words. Horseback riding can build their confidence and give them a sense of independence as they learn to ride independently.
“Those with emotional disabilities leave here with a sense of caring, love and confidence as they connect with their horses and volunteers,” Adams says.
Adams says there are different ways people can get involved with Magical Meadows.
“Magical Meadows does not survive without volunteers,” he says. “Volunteers can work in the classes with the riders and horses. Some volunteers like to work in the group sessions working on crafts and providing snacks. We also have businesses that have equipment that help clean up the pastures, and move things with their heavy equipment. We also have people who do landscaping and mowing.”
Donations to Magical Meadows are encouraged and appreciated.
“We are always in need of those who can financially support us, so that we can ensure that Magical Meadows continues to provide services as needed to our community,” Adams says.
Adams treasures his many positive experiences with Magical Meadows.
“I have been involved with Magical Meadows for 14 years, the last 10 as executive director,” Adams says. “To be involved with an organization that provides so much hope and healing to so many with different abilities is powerful, and a blessing. As a pastor I am able to encourage the parents here. Sometimes the hour their child rides a horse might be the only opportunity that day the parents have to breathe. They deal with so much – everything from the medical care of their children to the moments of sadness when people are not understanding of their child’s disability. Sometimes the world can be cruel to those with different abilities.”
Adams encourages everyone to stop by and see what goes on at Magical Meadows.
“I know that the community understands what we do, but until you physically witness a girl in a wheelchair be placed in the lift, and raised up on a horse, you can’t grasp the impact,” he says. “Until you hear a nonverbal child say ‘Walk on’ to their horse for the first time, or you witness a child get off a horse and walk for the first time, I don’t think you can truly grasp the impact the horses, the volunteers, Miss Tammy and Magical Meadows have for this community.”
Magical Meadows is located at 3386 East 525 North in Warsaw. For more info, call 574-265-3085, or visit themagicalmeadows.org.