GALLIPOLIS FERRY — A place that provides a “safe harbor” for many was recently awarded a financial boost.
The Safe Harbor Therapeutic Riding Facility in Gallipolis Ferry was awarded a grant from the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation which will provide the purchase of a portable mounting ramp for the Therapeutic Riding program.
This mounting ramp will increase service to people in the area who are currently unable to participate. The ramp provides a safe and effective way to allow people with mobility issues to mount a horse. With the use of the ramp, each rider is level with the side of the horse, including those riders who may be wheelchair-bound or use walkers for assistance, to ensure safety. The portability of the ramp allows more access to attend outside events that may occur in the communities to service riders with disabilities. The overall goal is to achieve greater strength and mobility, develop coordination and independence of the rider. The grant was written by Cathy Wilson, secretary of the organization.
Safe Harbor Therapeutic Riding Facility officially began in 2015 after receiving their 501(c)3 status. Carr said there has been a need for such a facility in the area to assist individuals with disabilities, both young and old, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding.
Carr has a degree from Ohio University in therapeutic riding certification. Board members consist of several area residents with knowledge and experience with assisting riders with disabilities working with horses.
Carr cited many upcoming activities for 2016 which will include an open house, fun horse show, and tack auction. The public and businesses can also become involved with the Safe Harbor Therapeutic Riding Facility by donating, volunteering, or sponsoring a horse or rider for the upcoming year. Contact (304) 593-3499 for additional information.
Information for this article provided by Safe Harbor staff.