Spring at the barn held at much fun as changes in the weather. Despite the first week of lessons being canceled due to the cold, riders new and experienced, young and old, enjoyed the blooming surroundings of Emmett from atop some great horses.
Five prospective riders completed evaluations, allowing them to move into the active rider pool. Two new TR students and three new veterans joined 17 previous riders to start the year out strong.
The 3rd annual Gala was a roaring success, raising the goal amount of $50,000 thanks to amazing supporters and donors. Staff and attendees enjoyed the 20's theme, awesome pasta dinners, and lively entertainment, all for a great cause of supporting Ride for Joy.
May is field trip season at RFJ and this year continued that tradition with groups from Council Elementary School's Special Education class and Union High School. The kids from Council endured a two and a half hour van drive to make it to the barn but teachers and students alike expressed the trip being more than worth the time. They enjoyed brushing Julius, RFJ's horse mannequin, learning equine anatomy, creating horse puppets, and, of course, riding! One student excitedly repeated "I love Bella" throughout lunch. All of the students colored their puppets to look like their horses with one student diligently referencing a photograph of Lakota to ensure all of her paint markings were just right.
Students from Union High School in Nampa were provided a unique field trip experience to fit their school focus of experiential learning focused on career readiness. Each student participated in volunteer training, a barn tour, and an equine careers game. The staff at UHS hope to bring students to the barn to volunteer in the fall and potentially have a student or two intern with staff.
The second annual R&R Retreat for veterans brought abundant experiences for participants, staff and volunteers thanks, again, to generous donors as well as community professionals who taught fly fishing and tying, archery, yoga, stress management, and psychological health. By far, the favorite activity was riding, of course. The stunning weather and fun personalities made the weekend wonderfully memorable.
As Ride for Joy storms into the summer session, there is sure to be more exciting news on the way.