Local equine therapy center has a special place in young boy's heart

3 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Wednesday, October 25 2017 Oct 25, 2017 Wednesday, October 25, 2017 6:30:00 PM CDT October 25, 2017 in News
By: Dallas Parker, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center hosts a fundraiser each year called Ride-A-Thon to keep its equine therapy program up and running. And while it's nothing out of the ordinary for most riders, this year’s Ride-A-Thon is special for one Columbia boy.

Isaac Vandepopuliere, 13, said he has set his own fundraising goal.

“I told my mom I wanted to raise $3000 for Cedar Creek and that’s what I’ve been trying to get to,” said Vandepopuliere.

He's been working with Cedar Creek since he was eight-years-old. At that time, he had been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Before that diagnosis, Isaac was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, ADHD and anxiety.

“Cedar Creek means a lot to me, it’s shown me a lot about myself. It’s helped me get through things I’ve faced in life,” Vandepopuliere said.

Karen Grindler, founder of Cedar Creek, said the riders aren’t required to raise a set amount. “We’re satisfied with any amount a rider brings in. There’s been times where I’ve had sponsors contribute so that someone could ride.”

Some of the regular riders at Cedar Creek have diagnoses like asperger's or autism, others have physical disabilities. Most riders have helpers who walk alongside the horse to ensure the rider’s safety. There are a few who ride independently, Isaac is one of them.

Vandepopuliere's mother, Stacie Pottinger, said the family was new to working with a child with special needs. They tried to get him all of the therapy and support they could get funding for. Cedar Creek had a great reputation, so they gave it a shot.

Pottinger said since her son has been riding, he’s seen amazing improvements.

“I wasn't really sure what he was going to gain from it, honestly.  When they did the registration we learned that his muscle tone was weak so it was going to be beneficial for that,” Pottinger said. “Everything that we have gained from being at Cedar Creek has been amazing.  I mean it's hard to even put it all into words.  It was our first 'home away from home'.  The first place we all felt we belonged.”

Currently, Vandepopuliere has raised more than $2,000 toward his goal. He used Facebook Live to bring in a lot of donations. But he’s also been making presentations to groups of donors.

Grindler said she couldn’t be more proud of his efforts.

“He’s always so excited and enthused about his fundraising. Each year. It warms my heart to know that he came up with this all on his own.”

Each year the program helps about 200 patients through therapy on horseback. Anyone can be a part of the program as long as they have a note from their physician that says the patient could benefit from riding.

This year’s Ride-A-Thon will be held on October 29. With donations and pledges, Ride-A-Thon allows people to come and ride on 60 acres of land. Riders can bring their own horses, and Cedar Creek’s riders can ride their normal equine partners.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - For the first time, a Columbia competitive cheer squad will compete at The D2 Summit Championship at Disney... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 8:02:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The city is considering an additional audit of Columbia. Every year an audit takes place to make sure... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:32:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - A bill that would give the city of Centralia the opportunity to increase sales tax by a half... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate has endorsed a bill that could boost Medicaid payments for nursing homes.... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:47:01 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Both the Missouri House and Senate have given initial approval to bills that would create... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:43:37 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Not all convicted Missouri inmates run from the law, but most run up large costs for the... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:09:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Target 8
JEFFERSON CITY - Nearly six million vehicles cross structurally deficient bridges every day in the state of Missouri. That's according... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:21:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri teens are twice as likely to use tanning beds than the average American teen according to... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:03:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLBanks) awarded Jefferson City $910,000 to Greenway Village, Inc.... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:37:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — Back-and-forth winter temperatures have been known to cause headaches, but especially for drivers this year. Potholes are... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:36:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is one of three states that has not outlawed texting while driving for drivers 21 and... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:34:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A local business owner is facing charges of marijuana possession and distribution. Osama Nadir Yanis and his... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:05:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pharmacy specialists outlined ways to address the opioid crisis as they spoke Wednesday in Columbia. Faculty members... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:57:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House is leaning toward making it a felony to purposefully send explicit images without consent,... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Regional Airport canceled two departures and delayed an arrival Wednesday because of the weather; but not the... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:19:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The dangers of opioids are forcing police to change the way they test drugs... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:39:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a man and woman from Missouri have admitted to selling male enhancement pills that... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:18:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenager with a mental disability... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:49:46 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 29°
10pm 29°
11pm 30°
12am 30°
1am 30°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
Riverdale
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld