Max Idolyantes

2016 Rider of the Year

Max-Lucy_crpMax says, “My favorite thing about M.A.R.E. is doing fun activities while riding horses.  I love horses because they have social needs just like humans do.  The horses need us as much as we need them.  I’ve learned that riding horses takes skill, and riding helps me reach my full potential.  When I’m riding I feel focused and serious.  I hope that when I grow up, I will be able to have my own horses.  I also want to train other kids with autism to ride too because riding will help them to be calm when they aren’t sure what to do.”

According to his mom, Raquel, “Max has made a tremendous amount of progress with the help of the M.A.R.E. Program.   Maria, Sonya, and all the volunteers have taught Max to listen carefully and to follow multi-step directions with confidence.   That confidence has transferred to other areas of his life too.   Max has learned to speak up, answer questions willingly, and to express his opinion because he knows he is among friends who care about him.  His experience at the CALNET horse show proved to him that he can control himself, as well as a horse, even when under pressure.  Max has also experienced the rewards of teamwork as he has encouraged other riders and received encouragement in return.  I am so thankful to the whole M.A.R.E. team and look forward to many years of watching Max ride and grow.   Thanks for recognizing Max’s progress and rewarding him!  He is so happy to have been named rider of the year.”

Max has been riding at M.A.R.E. since 2013.  During that time, he has ridden several different horses experiencing the differences and benefits each offered.  Max was part of our 2016 CALNET (California Network for Equine Therapy) team.  He won 6th place in the Obstacle Course, 2nd place in Pole Bending and 1st place in Futures.  We are very proud of him in all of his improvements and accomplishments.