As the leaves begin to change and the weather starts to cool, the Ride for Joy barn reflects on the marvelous summer that has simmered to an end.
The instructors provided life-changing lessons to 23 participants, including three new riders and one who returned after several years away. Parents of riders served by RFJ's four legged heroes reported seeing increased independence at home, improved ability to follow instructions, increased physical strength and reduced anxiety.
In an effort to lessen the time new rider applicants are on the wait list and reduce its overall size, evaluations have been provided prior to each session in 2018. Spring evals moved five individuals to the Active Rider List and Summer provided three evaluations. New applicants kept rolling in, though, and 12 applications were received during the session.
The annual All Abilities Camp brought 12 participants ranging in age from four to 19 to the barn for the traditional therapeutic riding, stable management for equine education, art, and of course...water games! The days ended with relaxing reading under the beautiful trees and also fun camp songs sung by amazing volunteers. Laughter and smiles made the heat of each day fade from focus.
As the fall session slips by and the end of 2018 nears, the staff at RFJ are truly grateful to be part of such a wonderful program. It is tough to call the time spent at the barn a "job" and the stories and testimonies often heard from participants and parents is proof.
RFJ wants to thank you for believing in the mission to provide equine assisted activities to individuals with special needs and veterans. Your support makes the best "job" in the world possible and changes countless lives through the horse and human relationship.
May your fall be filled with crisp air, pumpkin spice, the excitement of the holiday season nearing and lots of joy.
From Our Hooves to Yours,
The Ride for Joy Family