Children and adults with diverse needs, including those with autism and down syndrome, get to develop life skills by working with horses as part of the Hooves of Hope program in Kentucky. 

"They (the horses) don't judge anyone," Blair Newsome with the Boyle County Farm Bureau said. “The warmth and the movement of that horse gives them that calming sensation. 

Newsome, a former athletic trainer, uses her understanding of horses and sports medicine to create a program the maximize the physical strength riders are getting from working with a horse. 

"To me, it's the perfect fit," Newsome said, "You're using your horse as a therapy tool and that is because a horse mirrors our body language and emotions." 

Newsome says this isn’t “just a pony ride” and riders get the strength and confidence required to truly ride a horse. They learn to ride, steer, lead and even put on the saddle themselves.