Intern, Megan Roswech’s Story
I’m 6 years old standing along the white fence of a riding ring holding my mom’s hand, watching my grandma proudly lead an old school horse around. My mom explains to me as simply as she can that some people love horses, but might not be able to physically, mentally, or emotionally ride at a typical barn. I began riding when I was 2 years old, so I know the struggles and frustrations, as well as the joys and victories of riding all too well. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that at the time, but 12 years later I finally do.
As I approached my senior year at Mendham High School, I began looking into unconventional ways to spend it. After exploring my options, my guidance counselor and I settled on taking 3 classes in the morning and fulfilling the rest of my credits through an internship. I knew exactly where I wanted to do it!
My first few weeks at Mane Stream were both nerve wracking and exciting. Eager to make a good impression on everyone, I desperately tried to learn every horse’s name and complete as many tasks as possible. However, I soon realized that this internship was so much more than checking off a list. As I became more involved with my internship, I developed an equal fascination and love for adaptive riding and therapy.
In the fall, I began volunteering with the Matheny School students that came to Mane Stream for therapy services. I was amazed by the relationships between the patients and their therapists and nurses. I also noticed how calm the horses remained while the riders would cry or sit on the horse in various positions. I had never seen anything like this and was amazed by the good nature of the horses. I remember going home that day and telling my family all about how special the horses at Mane Stream are.
I spent the winter session volunteering for therapy sessions, and although I didn’t know any clients well enough to notice any major changes, I loved watching the therapists light up when someone made an ‘r’ sound, or took one step without a walker.
Personally, watching riders grow in adaptive riding has been one of the most incredible experiences at Mane Stream. Watching the smile on someone’s face when they can overcome the mental and physical block of tasks that I view as simple, such as trotting a circle or weaving cones, brings an inexplicable joy to everyone around. Moments like these have inspired me to major in special education in college. One day I hope I can impact kids the way the therapists and instructors here have.
Along with everything I’ve learned, I’ve been welcomed into a family. The staff has willingly guided and helped me along my journey here at Mane Stream. They’ve laughed off my mistakes, such as when I spelled the words wrong on the bulletin board and cheered me on as I learned more and became more dependable. Overall, I’ve encountered more real life experiences at Mane Stream than I would have in a classroom. That can all be summed up by a love and passion for helping others and horses!