GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Stephanie Stockman has been around horses all her life, but it was just a couple of years ago that she found a way to share her passion with special needs children. "A lot of the children that come out here - they can't do other things - like cheer or soccer - but they can ride horses," said Stockman.
Five nights a week, kids with autism, epilepsy, PTSD and other physical and emotional challenges stop by Stockman's Glendale home to spend quality time with her three horses. "Some of the children are even dealing with some real anger issues because of something that may have happened in their past," said Stockman. "That horse will just take that from them and it just puts them in a better place."
Jane Luptak has seen what a difference the equine therapy is having on the kids who visit the Blue Moon Mini-Ranch in Stockman's backyard.
Luptak reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to the horse lover, helping so many children get back in the saddle. "I want her to know that these children love her," said Luptak. "They appreciate what she does for them, and that's all she cares about."
A news crew followed along when Luptak showed up at the ranch to surprise Stockman and give her a $500 gift card. "I have a little surprise for you," said Luptak. "Channel 5 wants to Pay it Forward to you for helping these students. "We think that we can help you, so you can help them do more things in their lives that will enrich their lives."
"The passion you have for all these kids is beyond my wildest dreams," said Luptak. "You are so wonderful. I want to present you this $500 gift card from Channel 5 for all the wonderful things you do."
"The best part is just seeing the energy they have with the horse, and smiling, sometimes laughing. Just makes me feel so good to be able to share this love for these animals. I think they are majestic and have so much to offer."