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Center for disabled needs volunteers

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By Carolyn Risner

Despite a change of property owners, Tomorrows’ Equestrian Center has been given a reprieve and Sunday held an open house to showcase what they offer.

Sandy Arbour, president of the non-profit organization that provides recreational and therapeutic riding to the physically, mentally and emotionally disabled, said the group is faring well but is in need of both volunteers and participants.

The center is located on the newly purchased and named Class and Clover Farm in Morriston after the property went into foreclosure and was bought by Miles Vance and Danielle Scully.

Arbour is thrilled the new property owners are allowing her to stay and utilize their property and board the horses used in the therapy.

Currently there are 17 volunteers, but Arbour said many of them are winter residents who have now returned north, thus she needs more people to help care for the horses and see to their daily needs.

With six riders whose disabilities range from Down Syndrome to autism, there is more room for other participants, Arbour said. Nearly all riders are on scholarship–they pay no out of pocket fees.

Through generous donations, Tomorrows’ Equestrian Center has five horses, a trailer for moving horses from place to place, plus donated veterinarian and farrier services.

The organization is still in need of feed, hay, tack and grooming supplies and office supplies and equipment.

A shed on the property holds much of the donations and that which cannot be immediately used will be sold at its charity auction in November.

Boots are always in demand, Arbour said, since riders must wear heeled shoes and many come clad in inappropriate footware.

Arbour is the only certified instructor through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association so she must be on the premises whenever student riders are there.

Riding improves posture, mobility, flexibility and muscle tone while boosting self esteem and enhancing communication skills.

Physically fit young riders are encouraged to bring their horses and ride with the disabled at 10 a.m. Mondays. “It’s good when kids bring horses,” Arbour said,” because students then have a visual.”

Liability releases must be signed by parents of children under the age of 14 who want to volunteer on the horse farm.

At some point Arbour would like to have a unified drill team–one rider is disabled, one is not and eventually send competitors to the Special Olympics.

If you’re interested in volunteering, or know someone who would like to be a rider or would like to make a donation of money or supplies, call Arbour at 528-3445 or e-mail rideon@atlantic.net.