( Since May 2011, Lancelot has not been able to ride due to his vascular problems. I will never forget Lancelot’s first ride into the ring when he one his first Blue Ribbons!)
Jacobs’ Ladder
Lancelot has loved animals as long as he
has been on this earth. He once told me, that he had seen Jesus and the
Animals. Every horse enthusiast that we met throughout the years wanted to get
Lancelot on a horse. For example:
Lisa, at speech therapy, had horses,
and she just knew Lancelot would love to ride one. Well as patient as she was,
Lancelot would get on and want off immediately. If I got on the horse, he would
scream Mama fall, till I got off. (Depth perception problems…Sensory Integration
problem)
In 2006, I began taking Lancelot
to Sensory Integration Therapy at Sensational Kids in Hahira, Georgia. We
passed by Jacobs’ Ladder on the way. I ask Lancelot’s therapist, Pam, if she
thought therapeutic riding would help Lancelot. She thought it would be great
for him, and she set it up for us to visit.
When she had it all arranged we met her at
Jacob’s Ladder. Leslie had a Palomino colored, Quarter horse tied up in the
barn for Lancelot to meet.  The horse’s
name was Bogie. Bogie did not move a muscle as Mrs. Leslie worked with Lancelot
getting him to pet and brush the horse. Lancelot loved the horses. His
knowledge of horses was met with smiles of approval, but there was no way, he
was getting on a horse that day!
The next week we went back, and Pam meet
us there. It took everyone there to get Lancelot on Bogie.  Lancelot was brave, with the help of his new
friends Mrs. Leslie, Julie, Ryan, Shane, and Dairyman.
(Leslie Jacobs made sure Bobby Marfilus/ Dairyman was there the
next time Lancelot came to Jacobs’ Ladder. Dairyman, just happen to be from
Wisconsin, and Lancelot had always worked on dairy farms, needless to say
Lancelot had a few questions for him. Dairyman was a volunteer at Jacobs’
Ladder. He was stationed at Moody Air Force.  Mrs. Leslie thought since Lancelot loved all
things Dairy, that they would be good buddies. She is great at looking at each
rider, and seeing what will help them succeed at Horse Riding Therapy. (God
amazes me how he works out the details in our lives
.)

(Bobby Marfilus and Tim Hall
teaching Lancelot how to rope a bull.)
Lancelot went once a week for several
weeks, then Lancelot’s BFF his Papa had a stroke. (Papa always teased Lancelot
by calling Bogie, Trigger.) Needless to say for the rest of the summer we only
got to Jacob’s Ladder a few times. Below is a story of that summer and
Lancelot’s first horseshow.
( Take a look at Lancelot’s 1st Special Olympic’s State Game video on our Youtube connections. Lancelot and Bogie was on the Fox News in Fall 2006.)

So as you can see, Therapeutic Horse
Riding greatly blessed Lancelot and me. As his mother seeing Lancelot making
friends and competing was more than I could have ever dreamed. Because of Mrs.
Leslie Jacobs’ Quest of Heart, she made it Possible for Lancelot and many
others on their Quest.
I recently ask Mrs. Leslie to answer
a few questions about her Quest, and how she views Lancelot’s growth at Jacob’s
Ladder.
  1. 1.
    When & why did you open Jacobs’ Ladder
    or how long had you been operating when Lancelot began riding?  When:
    In 1999 we accepted our first 4 riders. Why: There was a need for a therapeutic
    riding center in our area. When did Lancelot start? May 2006, 7 years after
    opening.
  2. 2.
    What were your first impressions of
    Lancelot? I saw him as a fearful child,
    very unsure of whether he would enjoy his time on horseback. I was happy to get
    the referral from his therapist & to get her input & participation in
    my meeting with Lance.
  3. 3.
    Explain your approach to horse therapy
    pertaining to Lancelot & the progress he has made in his 4, almost 5 years.
    I have tried to push Lancelot’s “comfort
    zone”, in hopes of giving him further accomplishments to be proud of. He needs
    muscle strengthening, with limits of not overdoing it. He tires easily &
    doesn’t handle extreme temperatures well, so that is taken in to consideration
    when scheduling his riding time.
  4. 4.
    Explain the benefits of adding competition
    to therapy. For those who are interested
    in competition opportunities, we offer a ‘home’ show & several ‘away’ shows
    each year. By competing in shows the rider is given the opportunity to
    experience good sportsmanship, go other places & see other people with
    challenges who have similar interests, & make new friends.
  5. What
    do you think the greatest influence horse riding & horses have been in
    Lancelot’s life?  He has stepped out of his comfort zone & allowed horses to become a
    part of his life. He learned to trust & place his confidence in a very
    large animal. His words to the reporter in Perry that he enjoyed competition
    & that Bogie was his best friend will always be remembered. By meeting
    horses here at Jacobs’ Ladder his interest in other horse breeds has blossomed.
  6. Is
    Jacobs’ Ladder your Quest of Heart? (Happy & healthy heart) & what was
    your dream for Jacobs’ Ladder? Has it turned out to be what you had
    dreamed/planned?  Yes. It was a dream I had & have continually tried to grow it &
    make it a better place for our riders. My dream isn’t complete yet. I would
    like to be able to offer hippotherapy & equine assisted mental health
    classes, as well as driving & a Horses for Heroes program. These
    opportunities will happen with additional funds that will allow for therapists
    to be hired. A covered arena is also needed so that we can provide our services
    regardless of the weather outside. I hope it doesn’t take too much longer to
    reach some of my goals, because I want to do more to help people!
Lancelot has made so many wonderful
memories at Jacobs’ Ladder. He has grown and blossomed throughout the past 5
years. I cannot ever thank Mrs. Leslie
Jacobs’
enough for following her Quest of Heart. She gave Lancelot and me more than she
will ever know!