Riders with disabilities take the reins on their health
BOONVILLE — Riders have anticipated the Round-up Showcase Horse Show all year as a chance to present their abilities and what they have learned.
Riley Equine Center puts on the event. The center's Executive Director Bonnie Riley said her goal is for the participants to be proud of their accomplishments.
“They are so proud to show off what they can do and it’s a big deal for them, a very big deal,” Riley said. “Some of these kids can’t walk, some of these kids don’t talk but it’s a huge deal for them and we’re so happy to let them do it, give them the opportunity.”
Riley Equine Center provides therapeutic riding and equine assisted psychotherapy to people of all ages with mental, emotional or physical disabilities.
Riding helps people improve balance, coordination, strength, and muscle tone as well as confidence and social skills.
There will be 16 participants in the show who each raised $100 in sponsorships to participate.
Riley said the community is very supportive, and the center has never turned anyone away because they do not have the money to participate. She said they will get it covered.
Half of what riders raised will go toward future lessons, and the other half will go into a scholarship fund for therapeutic riding.
The show has four divisions that each have three classes: horsemanship, a trail obstacle course, and a speed class with a pattern to complete.
Daniel Zoellner, the barn manager, said it's rewarding work.
“Just to see the laugher, the smiles, the tears is just phenomenal,” Zoellner said. “If you want to come out and see some people that really work hard, and they work hard, you need to come out to the equine horse show classic because you will see people that don’t have the abilities that we do that put forth a lot of hard work and effort into what they’re doing.
The horse show will kick off around 10 a.m. and the event is open to the public for free.
[Editor's note: The headline was updated for spelling errors and accuracy.]