May 28, 2014 - 4:17 PM
KAMLOOPS - Autumn, a 14-year-old mare, was rescued in October and after months of rehabilitation has a new home as an ambassador for the therapeutic riding club in Kamloops.
When My Little Pony Horse Rescue liberated Autumn from poor conditions last October she had no manners, no guidance, no training and her feet had not been taken care of. Now the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association is ready to adopt her after eight months of being rehabilitated and trained.
The training helped Autumn reach a point where she loves people and the rescue believes she will do great in her new role helping with stable management lessons and attending community events.
“We really wanted to a have a mini for that,” riding association coordinator Ashley Reid says. “They’re smaller and maybe less intimidating.”
The stable management lessons are for people who are not ready to ride yet or aren’t comfortable with large horses. They learn to groom the horses and lead them around. There are eight larger horses currently in the program. As soon as they knew the rescue had the perfect smaller horse for their program they began fundraising through Go Fund Me and within 24 hours they had the money they needed to bring Autumn to Kamloops.
“I was quite surprised with how fast it happened,” she says of the fundraising site. “We’ve never actually done the Go Fund Me before…. It gets a lot of attention.”
The riding association, which helps all ages of people with disabilities (mental, physical and emotional), currently runs on donations. They usually rely on volunteers and supporters such as the Kamloops ATV club as well as an open house event in the spring and a larger Dash to Make a Difference event in the summer. The past few years the summer event has been an Amazing Race style competition but there are plans to change it up this year. Most recently $5,000 was raised to get a lift for riders and the next big project for the group is a hay shed.
The association is now waiting for a good time to bring Autumn in, they are currently dealing with flooding and the paddock area she was destined for is mostly under water. Once she does arrive Reid plans to work with her a bit to make sure she is ready to be put to work right away.
“We’re super stoked for her to come,” Reid says. “We’ll see how she is and if she’s ready to go we’ll be using her Monday mornings.”
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