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