Andrew’s Next StrideJuly 3, 2023
Meet Andrew, one our 2023 high school graduates. After watching this young man at his final Drill Team performance, you’d have never guessed he’s only been riding for a couple of years. Andrew’s coping skills brought him closer to the horses on campus, and in turn, had an amazing impact on his future.
Andrew arrived at Green Chimneys in November of 2021. Prior to coming to our Brewster campus, he struggled with managing his emotions and at times was very explosive. Like other students at Green Chimneys, he has worked hard at developing a toolbox of coping skills and utilizes them often. These skills include taking space, deep breathing, listening to music, drawing, skateboarding and BMX biking. But perhaps the most powerful strategy has simply been taking a few minutes to visit his favorite horses when overwhelming feelings began to surface. This simple yet effective technique not only helped Andrew de-stress day-to-day, but opened an entirely new world. His love and passion for cars was traded for a new love and passion for horses and horseback riding. He gravitated towards equine books and podcasts to build upon his enthusiasm and increase his knowledge.
“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”
Andrew’s passion grew each time he visited, engaged with, or rode the horses. He eventually joined the Green Chimneys Drill Team for even more dedicated time with the horses. The Drill Team is not your average horseback riding class; it takes dedicated skill and training to bond with and guide such large animals in a dance, yet Andrew has made riding through a choreographed pattern to music look easy.
Now after walking the stage and receiving his diploma, Andrew is preparing for his next big move – a physical move to North Carolina. He was not only accepted into his first-choice college, he was accepted into a therapeutic horsemanship program where he will get to ride horses and ultimately, receive in-depth training on how to teach horseback riding to students with special needs.
Watch highlights from the 2023 Drill Team performance: