Hello Happy Hooves friends and family,
Summer is off to a great start at Eden Farms! Did you make it to the Reedy River Falls Duck Derby in May? Happy Hooves was honored to be one of the charities the Duck Derby supported. A big thank you goes to The Greenville Evening Rotary Club for putting together such an amazing fundraiser and supporting therapeutic riding in the Upstate of SC!
This summer, 40 special needs children and at risk youth will be able to participate in individual therapeutic riding lessons or come to our weeklong horse camp! This is due to the generosity of Helens Hugs, a non-profit memorial foundation that supports the wonders of therapeutic riding. The scholarships are awarded to children who have been referred to Happy Hooves by their physicians, guidance counselors and principals. They are able to receive the many benefits that therapeutic riding brings, as well as make horsey memories that will last a lifetime!
Also this summer, Happy Hooves welcomes back high school students with intellectual disabilities and developmental delays through Project SEARCH. Thanks to the support of Easley Baptist Hospital and the Pickens County School District, this hands-on experiential learning and training helps prepare these special needs students for vocational skills once they graduate. The students are so excited to visit Eden Farms on a regular basis, ride horses, and discover what it means to truly care for their therapy horse. Confidence and smiles abound when they are out here!
Our summer wouldn't be complete without our weekly therapeutic riding lessons too. The children who participate have disabilities that include multiple sclerosis, Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, as well as intellectual disabilities and developmental delays. The parents of these Happy Hooves students report that the therapeutic riding lessons increase mobility, strengthen core muscles and fine/gross motor skills, and improve self-esteem and self-control!
It is hard to put into words the effect of pairing a special needs child and horses on a regular basis. Miracles happen when riders are teamed up with a 1,000-pound horse in the peaceful, scenic environment of Eden Farms horse barn. Deep healing happens in ways we cannot even begin to understand. Thank you to our Happy Hooves donors, volunteers, and therapy horses for making a difference in the lives of special needs individuals this summer!
Becky Sweeney, Barn Manager