In publication since 1991, Wrangler News is distributed free every other Saturday to more than 18,000 homes in the Kyrene Corridor area of South Tempe and West Chandler, and is supported by local and regional advertisers.

  Search past and present issues of the Wrangler
    Site search Web search                       
   powered by
Contact Us Links Media Kit Make a Payment Previous Issues

Back Home Forward

Growing up with horses turns into lifetime commitment

By Yvette Roeder

June 10, 2006

As a young girl, Jill Clark had a love affair with horses. Now an adult and a resident of Circle G Ranches, Clark’s love affair continues to grow, but has taken a different twist.

With her beloved horses Copper and Midnight, Clark gives physically, mentally and emotionally challenged children the chance to experience that same special bond with her horses—the love affair.

The reactions from these children with special needs have been phenomenal. And what makes it even more special is that the horses seem to have fallen in love with the children, too.

Clark shares her firsthand account of the therapeutic effects and the love and affection between her horses and special-needs children in her self-published picture book, Magic Happens With Horses ($15.95).

The book contains photographs taken by Clark depicting the instantaneous trust and confidence within these children upon meeting her gentle horses. The book, told through the horses’ perspectives, shows how children with autism, Down syndrome and even those who are physically disabled seem to benefit from the chance to ride and interact with Copper and Midnight.

Through pictures, Magic Happens With Horses is the perfect book for parents to explain to children with special needs how much fun they can have with the horses.

Clark does not in any way consider herself an equine therapist; she merely volunteers her time and horses to families with special-needs children.

Clark has, however, spent considerable time researching the latest on equine-assisted therapy (or hippotherapy) and even dedicates a page of her book explaining the benefits. Drawing from the latest research from the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association, she describes why horseback riding and simple interaction with horses can stimulate vocalization and language and strengthen children’s bodies.

When not spending time with her horses and young visitors, Clark travels the world as a pilot for Continental Airlines.

Although she doesn’t get paid for the effort and time she gives to families with special needs children, she says that the smiles from the children’s faces are worth more than any dollar amount.

Clark’s book is available at local independent bookstores and her website,
-- Yvette Roeder represents Changing Hands Book Store


Photo by David Stone


web site hit counter