A Day In The Life Of Janice—An Equestrian Enthusiast

Janice Horn’s Portland, Oregon, bedroom is decorated with beautiful photos of horses.

Three years ago, Chloe Papazian, program manager, decided to help take Janice’s interest in horses to the next level. Chloe found a nearby stable and brought Janice for a visit. “When Janice saw the horses, her face lit up,” Chloe said.

Now, every Tuesday, Janice takes the day off from her community life program, and heads to Sycamore Lane Therapeutic Riding Center in Oregon City, Oregon.


8 a.m. Home: Janice’s Kitchen


On Tuesdays, Janice wakes up early, excited for her trip to Sycamore Lane. She enjoys a light breakfast and juice, with Chloe’s assistance. After breakfast, Janice relaxes and watches television until it is time to leave.


10:45 a.m. Sycamore Lane


Sycamore Lanes is only a short 20-minute drive from Janice’s home. “Her excitement really starts when she gets in the car,” said Taylor Schaefer, another DSP, who often accompanies Janice to Sycamore Lane.


10:55 a.m. Sycamore Lane


Chloe helps Janice get geared up with safety equipment, including a helmet. “She loves working with Lisa, the instructor, and the other volunteers,” Taylor said.


11:00 a.m. Sycamore Lane Indoor Riding Arena


With the help of Chloe and staff and volunteers at Sycamore Lane, Janice mounts Ace, a 29-year-old Missouri Fox Trotter, known around the stables as “Black Beauty.”


11:10 a.m. Sycamore Lane Outdoor Paths


Janice, Ace and staff begin with a relaxing trot outside. Equine therapy helps people like Janice work on many skills, including balance.


11:30 a.m. Sycamore Lane Indoor Riding Arena


Janice and Ace return to the riding area to do some exercise and obstacles. This helps Janice with her communication skills. She mostly communicates non-verbally. “She tells the horse ‘whoa,’” Taylor said.


11:55 a.m. Sycamore Lane


On days where they have a little extra time, Janice enjoys petting and brushing Ace.


12:30 p.m. Home: Janice’s Kitchen


After a fun, exciting morning of horseback riding, Janice returns home to enjoy a sandwich—her favorite is turkey, cheese and mayo. She enjoys helping to prepare her own meals.


1:30 p.m. Home: Janice’s Living Room


In order to improve her communication and reading skills, Janice works on flashcards with Chloe. The two, who have known each other for several years, share a close bond and a sense of fun.


2:30 p.m. Home: Janice’s Dining Room


After lunch and flashcards, Janice hangs out in the living room or her room. She can often be found looking through issues of Horse and Rider magazine.


Overall, staff have seen her happiness increase since Janice began spending Tuesdays with Ace. “She always has the biggest smile on her face when we are there,” Taylor said.



This “Day in the Life” story was written and published as part of Bethesda’s #IamHuman campaign.  



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