Able-bodied people can take certain things for granted – holding a glass of water, picking up a pencil, hitting a baseball, or hugging a friend. Some are not that fortunate. These are people with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, impairments from strokes, accidents, and much more.
Some wonderful conventional services are available, however there is another less-traveled avenue that complements the goals of conventional treatments…and some of our volunteers… HAVE FOUR LEGS AND A TAIL!
Originally established in September 1998 as KIWANIS HORSES & HANDICAPPED a riding program forindividuals with special needs. This exceptional volunteer program puts together riders and horses in an unique mixture of physical interaction, exercise, education, and FUN!
The HHH program was founded on the belief that experiencing and riding horses in a safe, yet challenging environment can significantly improve the lives of individuals who are physically, emotionally, or developmentally challenged.
Who can participate?
Any individual young or old is invited to participate, provided they have a signed medical release from their physician and the necessary completed documents.
The benefits to the participant, both physically and mentally, are unlimited and remarkable.
Watch for the Smiles!
You will see the benefits to participates, both physically and mentally, after just a few weeks in the program. The SMILE tells you IT’S WORKING! Come out and see us and be part of this wonderful program.
- Who is eligible for this program? Any adult or child with a diagnosed mental, physical, or developmental disability. A doctor’s authorization is required to participate.
- What does this program accomplish? Improved motor skills, posture, balance, coordination and strength. We help stretch tight muscles and expand minds. By grooming, stroking, and riding our horses, participants push, pull, turn, reach, bend and lift. They also change thoughts of “I wish” into “I CAN!”
- I have never heard of your program until now, how long have you been doing this? HHH was founded in 1998 on the belief that riding horses in a safe yet challenging environment can significantly improve the lives of individuals who are physically, emotionally, or developmentally challenged.
- How much does it cost? The operating costs of Heartland Horses riding and interaction program has increased to approximately $75,000 a year. However, participation in the program remains completely free of charge.
- Where do the horses come from? Usually the horses in our program are donated by an individual who is no longer able to keep or care for their horse. HHH has also purchased two horses with funds donated exclusively for that purpose.
- Do you offer horse rentals? No, we do not rent our horses for trail riding. However we do offer various camps and lesson programs throughout the year. We also offer horseback rides on Monday nights from 4p.m. to 6 p.m. for children ages 3 and over. A $5 donation is requested.
- How is this program possible? This program exists and continues to thrive due to the generosity of our dedicated volunteers. Our financial needs are met through generous individuals such as yourself, and local businesses. We also hold several fundraisers throughout the year to help cover our program costs.
- When does the program operate? Client Sessions are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Supplemental sessions are added when necessary. Volunteers Needed!
- Who can volunteer? Anyone, age 12 and over is welcome to volunteer (there are restrictions on minor volunteers). You do not have to know anything about horses, or even like them . : There are many areas in which volunteers are utilized. Clerical, fundraising, assisting with clients, horse feeding and grooming, grounds maintenance and much more. No experience is necessary, we will train you!