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Dan's Story

Dan is an accomplished equestrian and multi-sport Special Olympic medalist who does not let his blindness or mitochondrial disease slow down participating in his favorite activities. Dan’s therapeutic journey is driven by his love of the outdoors and participation in programs geared toward independent sportsmanship. He participated in therapeutic riding in Connecticut and California prior to arriving in Maryland. After trying other riding programs in Maryland, Dan found a home at Talisman.

The special one-on-one attention that Talisman programs provide has kept Dan focused on his journey and coming back for over six years! During this time, Dan’s horsemanship skills have steadily progressed with careful guidance from his instructor, teamwork with his dedicated horse leader, and partnership with his favorite horse. 

Lessons are not all work! They are also about making new friends and socializing. Dan’s incredible sense of humor and love of horses makes him a favorite participant at the farm. Dan’s positive energy is so infectious, he has a Talisman Fan Club – led by his very special friend, Linda Pullen, who meets Dan for his lesson each week. The echoing sound of Dan’s laughter and the size of his beaming smile reinforce the fun shared by everyone across the farm. His family reports that his time at Talisman is the highlight of his week.

Adaptive horsemanship allows Dan to engage in outdoor activities and embark on adventures around the farm with his team. The trails at Talisman offer a rich learning environment adjacent to Greenwood Creek. The natural topography and strategically placed sensory activities create an integrated environment that challenges balance, stimulates senses, and encourages interaction with the world in present time. Please support our participants, like Dan, who are empowered through the exceptional equine-assisted experiences at Talisman.