Eliza (right) stands with one of her favorite horses, Guinness, at the Ironstone Farm. Photo By: Teresa Weis
By: Juliana Bird
At age 6, Eliza Glick, junior, became fascinated with horses. Since then, she has been working, volunteering, and riding at the Ironstone Farm in Andover, MA. This particular farm is unique because therapy programs are serviced here. Now, as a 17-year old, Glick and the rest of the staff accommodate riders with physical and/or emotional disorders. Glick stresses that, “Anybody can ride. People in wheelchairs, people who can walk, non-communicative people, the blind and deaf, and terminally ill patients can ride. That’s the amazing thing.”
Glick says that the horses have a “huge impact” on disabled riders. Depending on how much assistance is needed, the riders may participate in a saddle or natural ride to help incorporate movement of horse to help work on core strength and balance. Glick says that the, “movement of the horse is beneficial for the movement of walking”.
Glick is the present Coordinator at the farm. Her employer, Kay Milligan who is the Volunteer and Working Student Coordinator at Ironstone Farm, describes Glick’s job saying, “Eliza acts as the ‘clerk of the works’”. It’s her job to make sure all the people, horses, and equipment are in the right place at the right time. She directs a team of working students in accomplishing these tasks.”
Glick been dedicated for the past ten years to the farm and horses. Milligan describes Glick as, “one of the people we rely upon to help work some of our younger and less experienced horses”. Glick is reliable, dedicated, a leader and “ has a very strong work ethic, and an incredible heart for the horses,” says Milligan.
Glick predicts that horseback riding will always be a part of her life. In fact, she believes that it changed her life. Glick said, “Before I rode, I was very shy and I wouldn’t do anything by myself. It was the first thing that I really did by myself, and it built so much independence, leadership and problem solving capabilities.”
Along with working, Glick also takes private lessons herself to fulfill her love of riding. She began to ride in 1st grade. After Glick climbed onto the saddle, it was clear that that is where she was meant to be.