DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado State University’s Temple Grandin Equine Center in Denver is celebrating the hiring of their newest employee, Michael McGrady. The center studies the therapeutic benefits of interactions with horses, and McGrady was originally one of their clients.
McGrady first came to the center through the Laradon School. McGrady lives with spinal and anxiety-related conditions. Spending time around the horses at the center drastically lowered McGrady’s stress levels and improved his social skills.READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: As Delta Variant Causes Dramatic Increase In Cases, Governor Says Getting To 80% Vaccination Rate Would 'Make An Enormous Difference'
“I connect to (horses),” McGrady told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “(Being around horses) keeps me calm, with my anxiety. I’m settled, not stressed out.”
Alison Roth, spokesperson for the Laradon School in Denver, said the transformation McGrady experienced through the center was drastic.
“It’s really amazing to see his attitude and personality when he gets here. You can tell it really calms him, and de-stresses him, and makes him really happy,” Roth said.
McGrady said the horses have inspired him to pursue a career with the animals.
“I want to become eventually a horse trainer, eventually,” McGrady said.READ MORE: 'It's Been A Headache': Hundreds Without Natural Gas In Denver For Nearly A Week
After seeing how well McGrady responded to the therapy, the staff at Colorado State University decided to hire him as a part-time employee.
“I clean the stables. I sweep. I keep (the horses) clean,” McGrady said. “Because you have to help keep the horses healthy and clean.”
Though he is only at work for five hours every week, McGrady’s positive attitude and work ethic are invaluable to those in the center. He said his work has even made some of his friends and family proud.
“They think it is pretty cool,” McGrady said.
Though McGrady originally came to the center as a client, he said he was thrilled to now be part of the staff that helps others as well.
“I love working here. It has been my dream,” McGrady said.MORE NEWS: Testing For COVID Ramping Up Again In Colorado
The Temple Grandin Equine Center is hosting an open house to the public, scheduled for April 24 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend, meet some of the horses, and see what the venue can offer for their loved ones.