Certified riding instructor and volunteer Reagan Aymett, left, gives pointers on grooming and tacking up the horses.(T-G Photo by Mitchell Petty) [Order this photo]
Great Strides Therapeutic Riding Program held their yearly volunteer training session Monday afternoon at Bridlewood Farm. Certified Riding Instructors Reagan Aymett and Ann Burkhalter led the session.
It takes three volunteers to allow one child to ride. Here, a new volunteer learns how to properly assist a rider.
(T-G Photo by Mitchell Petty)
New volunteers were taught how to help groom, lead, and best assist riders participating in the program. Although the training session was well attended, Great Strides is always appreciative of any help offered. They said they were willing to teach "on the fly," even if you missed the spring training session.
Great Strides started as a program to help a few physically challenged children have a chance to ride and interact with horses some 18 years ago, and has grown to include more than 30 riders in its program. It has proved to be rewarding for everyone involved as riders get a chance for socialization and physical therapy, and long-time volunteers have watched their students progress as proficient riders into adulthood.
If you'd like to volunteer your time to Great Strides, contact volunteer coordinator Suzy Lambeth at (931) 684-1033. If you have a child or young adult that might benefit from the program, contact Kay Dennis at (931) 580-1141 or Charlotte Chrestman at (931) 224-5367.
Riding instructor Ann Burkhalter assists a volunteer out of the saddle to demonstrate an emergency dismount.(T-G Photo by Mitchell Petty) [Order this photo]