Awhite MetroAccess van with a motor- ized lift to accommodate wheelchairs and scooters heads north past the dense subdivisions and clotted roadways of a suburbia chockablock with strip malls,
big-box stores, dry cleaners and restaurants. ;e van and its passenger travel
miles beyond all that to a spare landscape
where pastures and barns outnumber
subdivisions, and red-tailed hawks circle overhead.
;e lone passenger in the van, David
Godoy, 37, of Montgomery Village, is
going to the Great and Small therapeutic riding center in Boyds, Maryland, to
visit a horse. ;is is no ordinary meeting;
it is a kind of communion.
;e man and the horse each journeyed
far to reach this patch of farmland where
their fates, improbably, intertwined.
Godoy, who has cerebral palsy, was born
in Ecuador with physical deformities that
made it di;cult for him to stand or walk
through much of his childhood. Kids in
his small town mocked him. As a teen
he had surgery to lengthen the muscles
in his contorted legs, and he now walks
with leg braces. To cover longer distances
faster, Godoy rides a motorized scooter.
;e mount Godoy has come to ride is
a sturdy, grayish-white Connemara pony
named Del Boy. Born in Ireland, Del Boy
was brought to the United States in his
youth and went on to compete successfully in horse shows. Now Del Boy, who
is about 24, is too old for athletic contests
focused on leaping barriers to win ribbons and silver cups. Last year he began
a new career as a therapy horse.
“It seems like Del Boy and me have
known each other a long time,” Godoy
The late-afternoon sun casts
long shadows across the bucolic
grounds of Great and Small.
The barns in the background once
belonged to a dairy farm.
After his therapeutic horseback
riding session, David Godoy waits
for a MetroAccess van to take him
home to Montgomery Village.