SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif. - It’s a serious time for the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program where major work is underway.
"We’re going through a renovation right now, much needed replacing all our arena fencing and the paddocks for our horses," said board member Tara Barnicoat of the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program.
The program provides therapeutic lessons to children and adults going through physical, emotional and other life challenges.
“It’s just so welcoming and with open arms to everyone … it builds confidence … allows people to feel safe and show they’re unique specialness," said instructor Tina Seebach of the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program.
But the organization's biggest fundraiser, the Cowboy Ball, was put on hold because of COVID.
"The last time we had a fundraiser was in 2019 and due to COVID ... unfortunately we were unable to have our big event and that is how we bring in the backbone of our finances," said Barnicoat.
This weekend's Cowboy Ball will be held at the Happy N Ranch.
It will raise money to support student scholarships, horse care, and facility repairs.
“I’m excited because we get to spread awareness to the community about what we’re doing here … and raise the funds we need to keep providing services to the community regardless of peoples ability to pay," said instructor Kim Dotzler of the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program.
During this weekend's Cowboy Ball, visitors will get to meet the therapy horses, and watch student demonstrations.
"We’re bringing two horses to the ball .. this is Belle ... she was donated by the night's honoree, Jim Thomas," said instructor Kate Johnston of the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program.
If you would like to support the nonprofit organization log onto: https://www.syvtherapeuticriding.org/aboutus
You can also shop at New Frontiers Market this Friday, where 5 percent of the store's sales will be donated to the riding program.