Alexus Lasiter, Lex for short, of Grove, Okla., has loved horses ever since she was 3-years-old. The now 7-year-old was born with cerebral palsy and attended horse therapy at a young age to help build strength in both her leg and trunk muscles.
After three emergency room visits last month, Lex's mom, Wathena Sievert, wanted to cheer her up, so she reached out to family friend and art student, Travis Barker, asking him to draw a horse picture for her daughter. But he did so much more than that.
Travis set up a Facebook page called Horses for Lex, which has resulted in more than 200 drawings from strangers across the country. But one user, Becky Anne Ross, was so touched by Lex's story, she decided to give the little girl an even bigger surprise.
Lex traveled to Florida this week, thinking she would get to ride a 20-year-old horse named Snickerdoodle. Little did she know, Becky, the owner of Alpha Boarding Complex in Riverview, Fla., was gifting the grey horse to her!
"Lex was very excited and shocked," Wathena told Today.com. "I don’t think she fully grasped that, yes, she was getting a real horse. So it was priceless."
Of her extremely kind gesture, Becky said, “I thought, you know, this is what I’m supposed to do. She will be able to love him and he deserves it, and he will love her.”
Snickerdoodle, who Becky notes had a "very, very rough life" before he was brought to her stables in 2011, has been around children with cerebral palsy in the past.
“Why this horse is so special is every time that Lex would kind of wobble because she doesn’t have that lower body strength, that horse stopped instantly on its own, no one had to tell it," Travis, who was involved in the surprise, shared.
"They already have a bond. It was amazing to see her sit there and talk to him," Wathena added.
The biggest hurdle now is figuring out how to transport Snickerdoodle back to Oklahoma with the family. A fundraising page has been set up to help with travel expenses, and has nearly reached its $5,000 goal.
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