'We can still see our favorite horse friends': young special needs kids treated to 'Horse Calls' from Fullerton animal therapy non-profit

They're called "Horse Calls;" non-profit "Tara's Chance" brings good news and plenty of smiles to special needs kids by safely bringing horses to the young people who benefit from animal therapy.

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Friday, September 4, 2020
Kids benefit from "Horse Calls" during pandemic
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A local non-profit has come up with the idea of "horse calls": "Tara's Chance" safely brings horses to young special needs kids to help lift their spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FULLERTON (KABC) -- The pandemic has kept some children away from riding their favorite therapy horses... that is until now! In this All Good News story, we highlight a local nonprofit that has decided to make "horse calls": safely bringing the animals straight to the people who benefit from the therapy!

Bella and Maggie are pretty good friends. The special bond is all thanks to Tara's Chance, a non-profit specializing in helping people with special needs.

"It's a place that's changed my life so much," said Bella.

Typically, Bella would visit the stables in Fullerton to ride horses like Maggie. Of course, COVID-19 has changed that. But then came "plan-B."

"Even in this hard time, they can bring the horses over and it just makes me so happy, it's super special because we can still see our favorite horse friends," said Bella.

Bella's mom tells us beyond that, it's simply lifted her daughter's spirits: "I've seen a huge difference in her overall health and strength. I'm thinking of all the benefits she's getting from that medically, and she's just having a really good time and absolutely loves it."

The new mobile visits can be life changing for these kids amid the pandemic.

"They haven't been able to do anything, go out of their house," said Cindy Howell of Tara's Chance. "I have several kids that have gone nowhere since this started, and this has been the only joy they've had."

Little Jean-Luc got his special visit too.

"He loved riding every single week, and then all of a sudden it stopped... hard stop," said Sarah Eakins, Jean-Luc's Mom. "And so this has been above and beyond magical, such an opportunity and we feel so grateful."

The staff explains they almost get as much out of it as the kids do.

"It's been very difficult for all of us, not to have them, not to have them coming to the ranch, and doing what we do, this is what we love," said Howell.

"It's helped so many kids like me, that it's just amazing what they're doing," said Bella.