Ray of Sunshine Reviews .
My grandson Aidan was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of six. Needless to say my entire family was devastated as we fought to get him clear from the cancer. He did clear but the family still felt the emotional devastation of the disease. Lia invited us to come out at experience the horses and the environment at the equestrian center.
The experience was uplifting! I watched as my three grandchildren rode the horses and how they changed as they rode! Lia even put me on her horse Marco. I had not ridden in years. I was transformed.
Later my late husband was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and could only hug and touch the horses. He beamed and said how much he forgot about his cancer. That was worth a million to me.
I highly recommend the experience for those who have gone through the battle against a cancer diagnosis. Even if you don’t ride and just want to watch or touch the horses it is life changing.
I would wholeheartedly recommend the Ray of Sunshine Equestrian Therapy Program. Led by the bright, energetic, experienced and compassionate young woman, Lia Gennaro, it is a genuinely well rounded program. There is a diverse assortment of activities ranging from brushing and grooming a horse, being led while sitting on a horse, to riding in an arena. In addition, you are surrounded by the beauty of nature, the Twin Oaks Valley Mountains, and the feeling of being ‘away from it all’.
As a cancer survivor one of the hardest tasks for me is to reduce the stress in my life. There are always so many decisions to be made sometimes quickly and without thought. Being at the Ray of Sunshine Equestrian Therapy Ranch I was able to just breathe. Up on the horse the air was fresher, cleaner, pure. I felt like I could breathe.
A cancer diagnosis showed me how temporary things can be. I watched my body change, noticing the day to day fluctuations. And then the steady transformation over the years as I got stronger. I learned to accept that nothing is permanent and that each day will be different. The time at RSET allowed me to continue to let go of preconceived ideas of what I can or cannot do. I welcome every possibility.
The horse was calm and that had a calming effect on me. I noticed my breath get deeper, slow down, soften, relax. Yet, I was very excited to be around the horse, so as my breath was slowing down, my heart was beating faster with anticipation. I could feel the sun warming my skin. All of my senses were heightened. It is a great thing to be in touch with your body. To turn your attention to the body through the breath is a practice that is enhanced at this great program!
Ray of Sunshine Equestrian Therapy has the potential to help restore hope, courage and strength in many people in and out of cancer treatment. Horses (and Lia) have so much support to offer and what a profound opportunity to experience this therapy during an often all consuming cancer journey. Spending time brushing, leading and riding a horse at Ray of Sunshine Equestrian Therapy helped restore a sense of confidence that had been depleted by my cancer journey.
The opportunity to participate in The Ray of Sunshine Equestrian Therapy program couldn’t have come at a better time for me. After receiving some upsetting news, I had been unable to sleep for weeks, and was so worn out that I considered canceling my session. After touching base with Lia I learned that she and her volunteers would accommodate whatever level of physical activity I was capable of, and so I decided to go. As it turned out, being in the fresh air and sunshine on a beautiful ranch healed my soul in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
For several hours all of my worries melted away as I learned how to brush, saddle and ride one of the programs wonderfully trained horses a handsome gelding named Marco. And once I was on top of that horse I felt so alive! I learned that riding a horse (even if you are just being led at a walk, which is all I was able to do), is truly a therapeutic practice because riding forces you to be completely present and in the now. For me it was such a relief to get a mini-vacation from my own thoughts, doubts, fears, etc and just enjoy being out in the sunshine with a horse.
Spending time with Lia (who is a cancer-survivor and an inspiration in herself) and her passionate and knowledgeable volunteers was also fantastic. After a few hours in the outdoors I felt like a new woman! I left the ranch with a feeling of inner peace, newfound hope for my future, and went on to enjoy the best night of sleep I have had since being diagnosed.
Thank you Lia and Ray of Sunshine!!