So, you may be wondering how the three therapists starting Dynamic Strides Therapy came together. Then again, maybe not. Nevertheless, you’re about to find out.
Brandi + Jenn
Let’s start here; it’s the oldest relationship between the three of us. Brandi and I met in the summer of 2005 while both working as therapy aides at a hospital in Springfield. It was a brief meeting that went something the lines of, “Hi Jennifer, can you work for me next weekend? I’m going out of town this week and then I start physical therapy school the next week, so I’d like a break before that starts.”
Unbeknownst to Brandi, I, too, was getting ready to start physical therapy school–with her. Being the “yes man/people pleaser,” I begrudgingly answered yes, seeing as how I didn’t particularly want to work the weekend before starting my next 3 years of captivity.
Fast-forward two weeks to PT school orientation and proceed with the awkward second meeting.
Brandi: “Oh, I didn’t know you were starting school, too. I wouldn’t have asked you to work for me.”
Jenn: “It’s ok, I didn’t mind.” TOTAL LIE. I was still a bit miffed, but at least a few dollars richer.
A brief summary of the next 12 years:
- 3 years of PT school and some of the best times ever!
- Celebrating life’s ups and helping each other cope with the downs.
- Starting Dynamic Strides Therapy together.
Brandi + Marge
School therapists; you’ve gotta love them! Especially when one is harassing the other to help with something called hippotherapy. (Huh? We’re going to play with hippos? What? We’re going to do therapy on hippos? Oh, we’re going to do therapy on horses? Ohhhhh, I see, we’re going to use horses as a tool to help with treatment during therapy sessions.) DISCLAIMER: Marge does not harass. And it takes a village to provide hippotherapy. (Which has me thinking, a blog about hippotherapy will be coming soon.)
So yes, Marge and Brandi were both therapists with a company providing therapy in the local school systems. Marge had started moonlighting in 2011, providing hippotherapy services as her school job allowed. She enlisted Brandi to help as a volunteer therapist and Brandi was hooked. 5 years later, Brandi and Marge began brainstorming about what it would take to keep kids on the horses year-round instead of 8 weeks at a time. Marge’s direct response, “A new barn.” And the rest is history…well, history in progress.
Jenn + Marge
You know how they say a family that prays together, stays together? Well, that’s irrelevant to this situation. Marge and I met in 2013 while working at an outlying hospital clinic in Nixa. Marge had just graduated from OT school after working as a COTA for numerous years. I was like, “Dang girl! Kudos to you for going back to school!” I didn’t actually say that, but I was thinking it.
She and I didn’t realize for quite a while that we were mutual friends with Brandi, and then we did. So what do you think happened? Marge started harassing me to come help at the barn. Although it was intriguing, the timing wasn’t right for me to volunteer. Finally, she convinced me to at least come observe one afternoon. It was seriously like, “How can you not fall in love with these horses and the smiles on the kids’ faces and the optimism of the parents?”
Brandi + Jenn + Marge
2016: The dream of Dynamic Strides Therapy becomes a reality. Marge and Brandi partnered in August, and I joined the team in late September. It has been an amazing 8 months filled with work, work, (some play), and more work. We cannot wait to open to the community and we thank everyone for their patience with this project!