Reins to Recovery, a therapeutic riding facility in Seymour, will conduct its fifth annual fundraiser today.
The event features live music from local bluegrass band Code Blue, pulled pork and mac and cheese, and live and silent auctions with prizes including a four-night getaway to a Tennessee cabin.
The nonprofit, which founder Callie Johnson started in 2008, seeks to use interaction with horses to support the emotional and physical development of children and adults with a wide array of social, emotional, physical and psychological disabilities.
The horses’ gait mimics that of a human, which can help those with physical disabilities build muscle and gain flexibility and mobility, while building a relationship with the horse aids in developing confidence and communication skills.
The facility hosts four 12-week sessions each year; 14 riders are enrolled in the summer session.
If you go
What: Reins to Recovery Annual Fundraiser
When: 4 to 8 p.m. today
Where: Bartholomew County Fairgrounds, Family Arts Building
Cost: Admission is free. Dinner is available for $10; children younger than 5 eat free.
While Johnson set a goal of raising $10,000, she said she hopes that the fundraiser produces doers, not just dollars.
“Getting enough volunteers is our biggest obstacle year after year,” she said.
In fact, it’s mainly the lack of helping hands that has six riders on a waiting list. Each rider must be accompanied by three volunteers, so a group lesson, which has no more than three riders, can require up to nine volunteers, in addition to the instructor.
And outside the horse barn, Johnson says that she is always looking for help in the office, putting together the organization’s newsletter, serving on the board of directors, and speaking to the community about Reins to Recovery’s mission.
Volunteers don’t need any experience but will need to fill out an application on the organization’s website and complete a two- to three-hour training session that includes education in horse safety, interaction with riders and a brief written test.
Proceeds from today’s event will be spread among the organization’s many needs, including Reins to Recovery’s scholarship program, which supports between 30 and 40 percent of the riders each session.
A full 12-week session costs $300 per rider. The fall session begins Sept. 24.
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