MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A horse therapy program that helps severely disabled children has a new home.
WCCO first reported on the Hold Your Horses program in February. They were in immediate need of a new home and also needed to raise $50,000 for the move.
The program — which provides riding therapy for disabled children — had to leave their old home by April 1.
Hold Your Horses was worried they would not be able to raise the money and find a new home for their six horses in that short a time.
After our story aired, the donations came pouring in. They are just short of their goal, but they had enough to make the move.
Ghost and the five other horses in the program are enjoying their first day at BEL Farms in Maple Plain. It’s a new start that seemed almost impossible when the program got word in March they had to leave their old Maple Plain home.
“We’re dedicated to helping move people’s lives forward, and now it’s our turn to move and people have just come back to us and … my heart’s just bursting open,” Hold Your Horses Executive Director Janet Weisberg said.
It’s been an emotional few weeks for everyone involved in the program, especially for the families. Back in February, Emily Poppen’s mother talked about how much the therapy meant to her daughter.
“Em doesn’t make huge strides. She’s not, you know, like a kid who’s going to be walking one day. This isn’t what it’s for,” Tonya Poppen said. “It’s for maintaining, its for doing something that she loves, she gets to be a girl who rides horses.”
Hold Your Horses looked at fifteen different farms, but it was BEL Farms that had additional rooms that could provide extra therapy before and after riding — and its spacious indoor rink is heated.
But there are still hurdles. An online fundraising campaign has left the group just short of their $50,000 goal.
“It would mean a lot to make that goal,” Weisberg said. “It means that we would be able to pay rent here for a year and a half, which we need to do.”
Hold Your Horses accepts all clients regardless of their ability to pay.