Posted: Jul 10, 2011 7:23 PM by Amanda Sohaney
Updated: Jul 10, 2011 7:50 PM
HARRISBURG - Coyote Hill Christian Children's Home celebrated the grand opening of a new arena and barn Sunday afternoon. The grand opening of the barn was made possible by one person.
"It was donated, all the funds, by Dorris Overton, in memory of her late husband Jack," said Kari Salmon, Coyote Hill development director. She said the Overton's were huge supporters of Coyote Hill as well as horse lovers.
Coyote Hill is a professional foster home for abused and neglected children.
"We have a home parent, mom and dad, it's a married couple that lives in the home full time," said Salmon. "They can really act as mom and dad for the kids and give them that family structure they didn't have before."
Kids who live at Coyote Hill said they really enjoy it.
"I didn't know who I was or whatever, but when I came here it helped me realize a lot of stuff about myself, so it was pretty cool," said one of the girls.
The horses are some of the kids' favorite part of Coyote Hills.
"The way that they connect with the horses is just really awesome," said Allison Mather, the barn manager and equine specialist. "It teaches them responsibility out here, having to take care of the horse. They're learning all about tacking up and cleaning the horses. They even have to muck out their stalls."
The kids welcome the responsibility.
"They don't treat us like we're kids," said one of the girls. "They give us confidence, especially around the horses. If we forget to do something, like tighten the girth or something like that, they won't be like 'Oh, we'll do it for you'."
The horses are there for another reason, as well.
"A lot of our kids come from situations where they haven't been able to trust the people they're around," said Salmon. "They learn how to trust the horse, which correlates to trusting people, as well."
And, of course, Coyote Hill's 150 acres of land is perfect for riding the horses on.
Coyote Hills currently houses 27 children. It is celebrating it's 20th year this year.