Therapeutic riding stable gives boy in a wheelchair opportunity to be a cowboy

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – From wheelchair to horseback, here comes cowboy Jackson

“Cowboy Jackson, oh yeah oh yeah,” sang Jackson Coleman Wednesday morning.

Jackson is in the second-grade at Simpson Elementary School in Franklin. Due to injuries sustained as an infant, Jackson uses a wheelchair for mobility most of the time. At New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding stable, he trades the wheelchair for his trusty partner horse Leroy, and gains legs.

Thanks to a grant, Coleman and his classmates were able to enjoy a horseback riding experience every week for six weeks.

“This year, we are able to be able to serve them because we were able to get a grant. Jackson actually, this is his second time that he’s been with us,” executive director of New Beginnings Michele Vise said.

The program is six weeks long, with May 15 being the last day. The volunteers who work with Jackson said there’s no feeling like seeing him on horseback riding in the wind.

“He said today he says, ‘I’m staying here forever and ever and ever.’ Just to hear those words, you know it’s impacting him,” board member of New Beginnings Jackie Reynolds said.

Despite what Jackson has been through, nothing seems to stop the young cowboy from smiling from one end of the stable to the other, which provides a profound learning experience for those who work with him.

“It’s amazing what a positive outlook will do for individuals. It’s not just participants like Jackson. It’s also our volunteers. We strive to make sure this environment is very positive, because we want them to be able to learn and to grow and to prosper,” Vise said.

During the time Coleman spends riding Leroy, he’s not a boy in a wheelchair, he’s a cowboy commanding a horse.

New volunteer orientation for those interested in volunteering their time at the stable is 6 p.m. May 20.