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Great Neighbor: Barbara DeShon

There are many people in our community who dedicate their lives to helping those with disabilities. One of them is Barb DeShon who uses her talents with horses to run Miracle Inc.

“It’s horsemanship for the handicapped people and we deal with any kind of handicap: physical, mental, even social,” explained DeShon.

Shaylee Cordova has Downs Syndrome. One of the highlights of her week is to come to this stable in the foothills of Idaho Falls to work with horses. Vanessa Cordova is thrilled there’s a place like this for her daughter.

“She loves it,” Cordova says. “It puts a smile on her face and she enjoys every aspect of it. It increases her core balance, it gives her exercise, it increases her confidence.”

DeShon knows this is great therapy for kids like Shaylee, but she takes it a step further and focuses on getting Shaylee and others ready for a special needs horse competition held in Hailey.

“The special needs people don’t have a chance to excel very often, and they can go to a competition and say, look I brought home this ribbon or this medal,” said DeShon.

It’s not only children that benefit. 29-year-old Jeff Frailey loves coming here. He recently won a medal.

“For showmanship, it made me feel pretty good and happy,” said Frailey.

There’s a special chemistry that happens between these special needs people and the horses.

“They also relate to your feelings – if I’m having a bad day the horse knows it and puts his head on my shoulder,” DeShon said.

“The horses know they have someone special there and the horses adjust according to each kid – t’s amazing, you have to see it,” Cordova said.

This special experience for people like Shaylee and Jeff is made possible by Barb Deshon.

“It’s rewarding to do this for the people as well as the animals – anything horse, I do – I’m a horse nut,” said DeShon.

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