RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA) – Halloween is coming a week early for some horses in Rapid City.
Francie Davis, Executive Director of the SunCatcher Therapeutic Riding Academy, says with the experience that she grew up on a ranch: âI personally know that there is a particular kind of interaction between horse and man. “
Riding Academy volunteers and patrons came in disguise and dressed horses for friendly competition.
âIf you’re in costume,â says Davis, âlike me, you get extra coupons and you can vote in the buckets here for the horses. The horse with the most votes wins the best dressed of the day.
Thus, everyone has the opportunity to choose their favorite costume. Well, almost everyone.
âI actually don’t do it as an executive director,â Davis says with a laugh and a beaming smile, âI have to stay a neutral party.â She adds: âYou will notice that our horses have all had more than a few birthdays, which is fantastic for our riders. “
Riders with disabilities can find therapeutic comfort in forging a bond with a horse, and since most people who seek this comfort are not generally experienced with horses, age becomes an advantage. Often this very age goes hand in hand with a more relaxed animal.
âMost of them have their therapy while we are walking, [or when] we lead the horse. He is able to help our clients mentally, emotionally and physically, âsays Davis.
She says the relationship between man and horse can be summed up well with one of her favorite quotes.
âThere is something about the outside of the horse that is good for the inside of a man,â says Davis.
She has been the academy’s executive director for only a few weeks, but is grateful for the community’s help. Mostly volunteers from Ellsworth Air Force Base and the South Dakota State University Nursing Program.
âAll of our volunteers who are here who have worked so much with the horses and met some of our clients for the first time today, it’s absolutely amazing. The passion people have for helping others within our community, I’m really excited to be a part of it. There is a different sense of purpose – A different sense of belonging to something that is much bigger than us. We can continue to develop that and help our community even more, âsaid Davis.
The non-profit Riding Academy would also like to invite anyone to come to their Chili and Soup Meal which will be held at Moose Lodge on November 2nd at 5:00 PM.
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