The accident that turned Tom Worl’s life into a living hell occurred back in 1995 when a drunken driver struck his motorcycle. Worl. Now 43, has never quite recovered from the accident that left him with devastating injuries. He was laid up in the hospital for an entire year with a broken back, a broken neck and a shattered hip.
Recently, Worl has been fighting to get his life back with aid and assistance from an unlikely source – a horse named Pumpkin who lives at Raise Your Dreams Farm.
After a long while, Worl managed to get around with the assistance of a walker. He says, “They thought I would have to use a walker my whole life. Now, I don’t use a walker.”
Worl has a tendency to speak He wasn’t truly able to heal until he started equine therapy at Raise Your Dreams Farm in Pilesgrove.
Worl speaks purposefully and has some difficulty with tougher words when he talks about Pumpkin, his therapy horse, but there is excitement in his voice. He had not been able to heal until he began equine therapy. He has been going to Raise Your Dreams Farm in Pilesgrove and this is where he was paired with Pumpkin, a 15-year-old American Quarter horse.
At first, Pumpkin would not move out for Worl, whose balance was really off. Eventually both horse and rider became familiar with each other. And they’ve developed trust and a real partnership.
Worl says, "Pumpkin has helped me in so many aspects of my life."
Says Jill Mansor, owner and operator of Raise Your Dreams Farm which specializes in equine therapy noted,
By riding the horse, a person builds physical strength in their hips, their core and legs. It also helps with balance and the ability of the rider to focus. Equine therapy is like a miracle worker.
When Worl first started his equine therapy with Mansor, he was surrounded by handlers in case he fell. A couple of months ago, he was ready to ride by himself.
Pumpkin is not going to let anything bad happen to him. I know that sounds corny, but it’s true.
Worl adheres to a routine when he goes to the farm. He pulls up in his truck and Mansor’s two Great Pyrenees greet him. He then makes his way over to say hello to Pumpkin.
Worl says, “Pumpkin comes over all the time and says hello. Well, the horse doesn’t really say hello, but simply picks his head up and trots happily over to me.”
The before Worl rides, Mansor leads a small prayer. She says, “We always pray for protection. I just ask God to take control of it, protect every rider who’s here, keep each one safe. And every rider — no matter who they are — we start with prayer.”
Worl admits that ever since his accident, he blamed God for a lot of things. Going to Raise Your Dreams, though, even aided his spiritual healing.
Worl muses about his life now,
He’s now a big part of my life so it’s good that I came here because He’s a big part of this farm’s life.
Since Worl began his equine therapy and committed to it, his life has become worth living again. He has regained much of his balance and he regularly enjoys long bicycle rides. Worl estimates he goes at least 90 miles a week.
And he thanks Mansor and a horse named Pumpkin for his success. “Pumpkin has helped me in so many aspects of my life,” Worl said. “He makes me do everything just a little bit better.”
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