Horsing Around

Special participants ride high in the saddle at ManeGait annual horse show

Special participants ride high in the saddle at ManeGait horse show

Bill Benton (Board Member), Kathryn Benton (ManeGait rider), Paula Benton
Bill Benton, Kathryn Benton, Paula Benton Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher
Tom Reidy (Board Member), "Scooter", Ward Eastman (Board Member)
Tom Reidy, Ward Eastman Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher.
Jeannie Naumann, Tricia Nelson (ManeGait Executive Director)
Jeannie Naumann, Tricia Nelson Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher
Jason Davis, P.A., Scotty Farris, R.N., Karen Hutchinson, Heather Guarnera (Marketing & Development Manager)
Jason Davis, Scotty Farris, Karen Hutchinson, Heather Guarnera Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher
Pris Darling (Co-Founder & Board Member), Rudy Andrea, Christina Andrea, Bill Darling (Co-Founder & Board President)
Pris Darling, Rudy Andrea, Christina Andrea, Bill Darling Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher
ManeGait Horse Show 2014
High fives for a ride well done. Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher
ManeGait Horse Show 2014
A family celebrating a ribbon-winning performance. Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher
ManeGait Horse Show 2014
A ManeGait rider takes home a trophy and blue ribbon. Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher
ManeGait Horse Show 2014
One of ManeGait's youngest riders takes home trophies in his division for equitation and trail pattern. Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher
ManeGait Horse Show 2014
A young rider competes in the horse show, accompanied by volunteers. Photo by Michelle Oesterreicher
Bill Benton (Board Member), Kathryn Benton (ManeGait rider), Paula Benton
Tom Reidy (Board Member), "Scooter", Ward Eastman (Board Member)
Jeannie Naumann, Tricia Nelson (ManeGait Executive Director)
Jason Davis, P.A., Scotty Farris, R.N., Karen Hutchinson, Heather Guarnera (Marketing & Development Manager)
Pris Darling (Co-Founder & Board Member), Rudy Andrea, Christina Andrea, Bill Darling (Co-Founder & Board President)
ManeGait Horse Show 2014
ManeGait Horse Show 2014
ManeGait Horse Show 2014
ManeGait Horse Show 2014
ManeGait Horse Show 2014

Compassionate members of the community came out to support ManeGait at its sixth annual horse show, which provides riders with disabilities an opportunity to focus instead on their abilities.

The daylong horse show, on the 14-acre McKinney property, was filled with happiness, hope and harmony between riders and animals. Children and adults alike demonstrated skills learned in therapeutic sessions during horsemanship and trail pattern competitions.

“The horse show is a very special day for all of us here at ManeGait,” said executive director Tricia Nelson, who is also an instructor and mom to a ManeGait rider. “Our riders work hard year-round, and it’s a chance for the community to come together and celebrate their incredible accomplishments with them.”

The event culminated with a presentation of ribbons and trophies for riding accomplishments, to the delight of attendees such as Paula and Bill Benton, Jeannie Naumann, Ward Eastman, Pris Darling, Rudy Andrea, Christina Andrea and Bill Darling.

“In addition to the horse show being a special time for our riders, it’s also a wonderful chance for people to learn more about the ManeGait program and community,” said co-founder and board member Priscilla Darling. “The smiles on the riders’ and families’ faces say it all. Once people see that firsthand, they want to be a part of it.”

ManeGait works with riders with physical, cognitive, developmental, sensory and/or learning disabilities. Each week, the organization relies on the help of more than 350 volunteers to assist in this goal.

Volunteer opportunities at ManeGait range from working hands-on with riders and therapy horses to assisting with administrative and event needs. The next volunteer trainings take place on May 3 and 10, and you can find out more on the ManeGait website.

Since 2007, ManeGait has specialized in using therapeutic horsemanship to help children and adults with disabilities to move beyond their boundaries through the healing power of the horse and the dedication of a professional and caring community.