Volunteers sought to help kids with horse rides
By Crystal Thompson
In hopes of attracting volunteers to help with its summer riding sessions, the Hi-Line Therapeutic Riding Association (HILTRA) is hosting a potluck picnic this Sunday.
The picnic is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Hill County Fairgrounds Community Center. It will be followed by a demonstration and training for volunteers at the Bigger Better Barn.
The association currently has 20 area children signed up for their program, and hold their sessions twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Each child needs three adults to aid in their riding session. HILTRA was created for disabled children as a way to promote healthy mental and physical development.
According to director of the program Sylvia Murray, the goal of the sessions is to get the child comfortable with the horse, thereby making him or her feel safe. Two aids are needed, one to walk on each side of the horse and another is needed to lead the horse for the walking session. The child is strapped to the horse and uses two handles for leverage.
Murray said that high school students would make good volunteers as well. Each session gives the volunteer a chance to develop a closer relationship with the child and to learn more about their specific disability.
"It's really important for everybody," Murray said.
Summer sessions start June 5, and everyone is welcome to attend and learn more. For more information, contact Sylvia Murray at 265-9788 or 265-5686.