Horses and riders showing off to raise funds
ROCHEPORT - The Sunny Oaks Charity Horse Show brought about 20 riders out Sunday afternoon to compete for ribbons and raise money for Sunny Oak Farm.
The money raised at the show will go toward Sunny Oaks’ therapeautic riding program and the summer horse riding camps that are hosted on the farm.
Sunny Oak Equine Assisted Activities is a non-profit that uses a horses natural healing ability to help those mentally or physically disabled.
Owner and executive director of Sunny Oaks, Rosie Erganian, said those with disabilities can experience riding a horse with just a little help from a volunteer.
“They have some extra help so they can enjoy riding the horses as well as learn from them,” Erganian said.
Erganian says riding a horse can be therapeutic in many different ways for the disabled.
For a person who struggles with walking, the motion of the horse can help them.
“The movement of the horse mimics that movement with their body and really will improve their balance and coordination and strength,” Erganian said.
Erganian said there are a lot of reasons for the riders to come out and participate in the show.
“They come out because they are certainly enjoying riding in the horse show, but I think it makes them feel good knowing the money they spend at the horse show will trickle down and help our disabled riders,” she said.
Erganian credits the volunteers as a big part of the process as well.
“This does not happen with just one person, it’s everybody that chips in and helps out,” Egranian said. “So, the volunteer help is really another big aspect of drawing the community together and having a lot of people working together for the same goal.”
Erganian said as the owner a lot of work goes into this farm, but there is one main reason why she does it.
“To watch these kids learn, whether it’s an easy time or a hard time, watching them learn how to deal with failure and success and the horses that help us so much,” Erganian said.
Egranian said she loves that aspect of the farm, but realizes the many benefits the farm has for kids.
“Young people today, none of these people here are sitting in from of their computer on the air conditioning right now,’ Erganian said. “They’re doing something real with an animal.”