Special Needs Horseback Rides Bring Smiles

Riders, volunteers, and even horses are smiling

In between teaching shotgun at the Women’s Outdoor Weekend and helping at the Youth Fishing Derby in Pagosa Springs Wolf Creek Outfitters (WCO) hosted the special needs children of Pagosa Springs for the annual horseback ride.

Each year our team gives the kids the opportunity to watch, pet, lead, and if they desire, ride a horse. This is a day the WCO team and our friends look forward to each year.

Twelve children along with their instructors and a couple of parents arrive for the big day. The morning begins with adjustments to boots and cowboy hats, followed by greetings and instructions. Then everyone meets the horses.

Many of the children have been to this event in the past and are comfortable around the horses. Others take a little warming up. Then before you know it they are off on a ride.

We start off with our team of volunteers leading the children via horseback on short rides around the arena. For those who are up to it, and capable, they’re handed the reins and get to be in the “driver’s seat.”

We also make it a point to try to get the instructors and volunteers a-horseback. After all, why should these children ride if the adults won’t? This year we had two of the group’s instructors or leaders, who’d never ridden before, take a ride.

This year we also have a new addition to this special day. Loud, “OOOHs, AAAHs, and WOW’s” were heard as Ombré the pony led out for his grand introduction.

Ombré proudly packed around a few of the smaller, more timid children. One of these only rode once, but had Ombré not been there she may have not ridden at all.

Each year it seems there’s at least one who doesn’t want to hop on a saddle. Don’t worry. We put them right to work. They get to smile, wave, and cheer in support of their friends. Some of the more brave ones learn to lead the horses too.

Another youngster, who is deaf, climbed atop Cowboy (aka., Mr. Man) and rode the entire time. Having been to this special event before, he wasn’t getting down from the horse until it’s time to go.

At WCO we are honored to be a part of such a great event. It’s rewarding to meet these great youngsters and to have them back year after year. The horses love them too. It’s amazing how they have a sense of who they’re packing around and know they need to take care of their riders.

We’re proud to have such a great team of horses that take care of this precious cargo and a fantastic group of volunteers who find it rewarding to give back to this special group of people.

We know they all find great reward in this day, but we’d also like to give a huge thanks to our volunteers, Terry Eschelman, Jordan Lindsay, Lea Leggitt, Laura Jacobson, and Tucker Jacobson.

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6th Annual Special Needs Horseback Ride

 

Hunt elk, bear, mule deer and merriam turkey with Wolf Creek Outfitters, Inc. - WCOI am proud to be a part of WCO, Wolf Creek Outfitters, Inc. We feel it is important to give back to the community. We offer a horseback ride each year to the Special Needs children of our community. This year’s ride was as wonderful as the past. We had plenty of help and were graced by the presence of Royalty. Archuleta County Fair Princess along with the Red Ryder Rodeo Queen and Red Ryder Rodeo Princess donated their time to assist with the kids. They along with the help of others made the ride safe, fun and successful.

We had so much fun and so many pics. Here are a few to make you smile! 

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 Smile!

Getting kids outside!


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WCO Hosts 5th Annual Special Needs Ride

Special needs group excited after day of riding horses.

www.wolfcreekoutfitters.netThursday, July 14, 2011, Wolf Creek Outfitters, Inc. (WCO) hosted the special needs children of Pagosa Springs for the fifth annual special needs horseback ride.  Each year our team gives the kids the opportunity to watch, pet and if they desire, ride a horse.  This is a day the WCO team looks forward to each year.

This years horseback ride was attended by fourteen children along with their instructors and a couple of parents.  The morning began with greetings, and instruction followed by meeting the horses.  Many of the children have been to this event in the past and are very comfortable around the horses.  Others take a little warming up and then before you know it they are off on a ride.  Enthusiasm exuded from the children as they spent the morning with giant smiles on their faces.

Special needs group excited after day of riding horses.

The children took short rides around the arena and then if they were up to it got to go out on the trail.  It is the 5th year and one attendee still had yet to gain the courage to climb atop a horse.  He loves them so much and enjoys coming to see them.  He trys to gain courage each time and then opts to help out each by leading a horse.

The team braces a wheel chair bound friend as he enjoys ride around the arena.  It is not only fantastic for the rider, but rewarding for the proud helper as well.

Special needs children interact with horses

Hank thanks him for his help.  It is a pleasure to have him involved as always.

 Hank thanks an attendee for his help with the special needs horseback ride.

Another child and his mother attended the event.  Both are deaf and had a fantastic time interacting with the horses.  The boy uses sign language to communicate.  They were ecstatic to get to ride Huckleberry.

Yet another boy wants to help as well as ride.  The team dubbed him the ranch hand for the day.  He was up and ready to help out with everything.  He was even excited to hop on Jake the mule to go for ride!

Special needs attendee rides Jake the mule.

At WCO we are honored to be a part of such a great event.  It is so rewarding to meet these great kids and to see them come back again and again each year.  The horses love them as well and we are so proud to have such a great team of horses that take care of this precious cargo as they head out on the trail.

The group of children at the special needs event head out on the trail.


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