Stir-N-Up Hope Horse Rides
Time: All day 11:00 am ET - end time TBD
Location: South of lower shelter house
South of the lower shelter house at the Folk Fest, children will again have the fun opportunity to ride a horse with the service organization Stir-N-Hope. The horses names are Jellybean, Leroy, Lady, and Noodles, and according to caretaker Alison Treat, "They are all gentle, kind souls, and they enjoy giving people rides."
Stir-N-Up Hope is a local not-for-profit that provides free therapeutic riding sessions for individuals with special needs. Their mission--"through love, guidance, time, and prayer, they can stir up the hope inside of each student and accomplish goals once thought impossible."
Stir-N-Up Hope helps individuals of all ages who might be dealing with muscular dystrophy, paralysis, emotional disabilities, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, learning disabilities, hearing impairments, mental illness, visual impairments, autism, Down's Syndrome, amputations, brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, Rett Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, depression, and more. Physically, the gentle movement of a supervised ride on a horse develops muscle tone, control, and balance. Horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves their bodies in a manner similar to normal human walking. Emotionally and mentally, the relationship a rider develops with a horse builds confidence, self-esteem, motivation, patience and the realization between cause and effect. The love the rider experiences from the horse encourages the rider to not only trust the horse but to rely on it. So they can accomplish the rider’s goals together.
The program is seasonal, running from spring to fall. Riders are taught to groom, tack, lead, ride, and games are incorporated to work on areas of specific need. Riders experience control of direction, speed, and an all-time favorite--the woods . . . places they may have never been able to go if it had not been for the horse. A horse’s warm disposition draws out the desire in the rider to try new things and overcome fears.
In addition to providing enjoyment for children, the rides at the festival will promote awareness of Stir-N-Up Hope and serve as a fundraiser to support the program's valuable work. Rides will be $5.00 per child, and $2.00 to pet a horse. For children ages 6 and under, the parent can walk alongside the child. Brochures and information about the program will be available. Some riders in the program as well as volunteers and parents will be present if people want to ask more questions or get information and just meet who they are helping.
Stir-N-Up Hope's barn is on CR 250 W in southern Spencer County. Their meetings are normally held in the small back room of the Spencer County Youth and Community Center at the Spencer County 4-H Fairground in Chrisney, Indiana, unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit http://220.127.116.11/~stirnuph/ and/or contact Alison at 812-367-2436.