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Grant Manier

Grant Manier’s Success Story

My name is Grant.  I am 15 years old and have Aspergers (a form of autism).  I have been struggling with my behaviors and anxiety for a long time.  My mother has sought professional care, therapy, and schools to help me.  For all that she has done, I am grateful.  There were many that helped me understand myself and others completely confused me.  But, she has taught me to “stay in action” and to believe I am more than just special.  She says I am a voice and leading the way for so many like me who are challenged with autism or autism spectrum disorders.

Well, one hot August day in Houston, Texas, my mother received a call asking if I would be interested in participating in a horse science experiment that would measure my brain waves.  Well, first let me say, “I have sensory issues to hot weather and I have never been on a horse!”  But, my mother-knows-best and I agreed to give it a try and I was scared out of my wits to get on a horse. The day came and I went out to the stables, met a horse named Cactus, and put on the brain wave hat.  My brain waves were tested before I got on Cactus and then after.  They told my mother and me that my brain waves spiked so high that even with all my anxiety (it took three people to get me up on the horse) I was able to receive the benefits of a horses healing.  I was 13 then, now going on 16 years old, Cactus and Dhan Zhou have become a big part of my life.  I visit them often and ride them bareback.  My mother asked me one day how does it feel to ride the horse?  At first I did not have an answer, but the next time I rode and got off the horse I told her, “Mom, when I came to ride the horse today I had anxiety, but after riding Dhan Zhou for 30 minutes I am calm and happy, I feel like I just came out of a deep meditation, they are good for me, I love them!” One of the greatest benefits I get from riding the horses is that they help me stay calm and focus on my creativity as an artist.  I have been drawing, painting and tearing paper since I was 4 years old.  I enjoy tearing paper, over and over; it is just one of my autism behaviors.  My mother never discouraged it, because it kept me calm and I was neat about it.  But, because of the horses and their powerful healing energy I have taken that unusual habit of tearing paper and started recycling paper and turning my torn paper into art masterpieces.  I even won the Rodeo Grand Champion in Austin, Texas for my recycle artwork.  My inspiration for the Grand Champion title was easy, effortless and I put a lot of love into it, because after all… it was my friend Dhan Zhou.  And I keep riding, healing and winning!

– Grant Manier (Houston, TX)