Weber County Fairgrounds
Combined Federal Campaign
Double spurs Riding Club
All of our dedicated volunteers
who are committed to
Back in 1978, three county professionals volunteered to host a Freedom Riders festival pony ride event for the children with disabilities on the lawn of McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. Out of this was born, Freedom Riders Inc.
Freedom Riders is a non-profit organization, and an equestrian program specifically designed for physically disabled children. Freedom Riders uses well trained horses and specialized equipment to provide balance, coordination, endurance, and improve ambulatory skills to children with cerebral palsey and other physical challenges. These children, with the help of many dedicated volunteers, meet each week during the summer months to learn horsemanship skills as well as stretching exercises and games on horseback.
The physical benefits of therapeutic horseback riding have been recognized for centuries. The physical impact of the horse's gait on the body improves function of the rider's pelvis, spinal column, joints, muscles, and even internal organs. The emotional and social benefits are equally important and beneficial to the children. Freedom Riders give the opportunity and the challenge for the disabled rider to savor his/her own personal victory by gaining self esteem, communication, self awareness, and the expression of feelings.
Freedom Riders follow Path Intl. requirements which include the requirement of a riding helmet and securing an area used only for helping participants mount their horse. Participating horses must pass a two hour test before they are allowed to be used in the program. The riding equipment used, which is manufactured nationally, consists of specialized saddles and safety devices specifically created for programs like Freedom Riders that help children with handicaps.
Terri Barnett found that her 6 year old son, Micay, who suffers from cerebral palsey, learned to tighten the muscles in his torso and loosen his hips which is helping him to walk better.
"When he's riding horses, he can go longer without botox injections. I love the program. It's fabulous."
Several parents comment that it helps the children with self esteem and confidence as many of the children that come in very shy and insecure begin interacting with others.
2011 All artwork on this site is the sole
property of The Freedom Riders Inc.
Copy or use of any artwork contained in this site without the artist's permission is a Copyright Infringement.