Freedom Reins event to promote therapy benefits

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 5, 2006

Proponents of using horses for therapy are holding a day of funactivities for kids this weekend during the first Freedom ReinsFall Fest.

Freedom Reins, a therapeutic center that uses horses to help theimpaired, and the Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven have partnered inthe Saturday event. It is designed to promote how horses can assistin therapy.

“We’re going to have a demonstration to show how the process canbe used,” said Freedom Reins’ Becky Green. “A lot of people can’tunderstand how a horse can be used in therapy.”

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The event, featuring a variety of children’s games, is free,although refreshments will need to be purchased.

Activities begin at 8:30 a.m. with a Motorcycle Poker Run foradults beginning at Whistlestop Motorcycle Shop on WhitworthAvenue. The poker run ends at Freedom Reins around noon.

Junior Auxiliary will host children’s games at the Freedom Reinscomplex, located on Highway 84 East approximately 6.2 miles east ofEast Lincoln Road, much like an old county fair, Green said. Thechildren must be accompanied by an adult.

Games will run from 9 a.m. to noon and feature, among others,stick horse races, go fish, bean bag toss, a hay treasure hunt anda space walk.

Freedom Reins teams handicapped people with horses. Theteaming’s therapeutic exercises can improve posture, balance,hand-eye coordination, strengthen muscles and improve mobilityamong the physically impaired, Green said.

“It can also help with emotional issues,” she said. “It’schallenging to them and instills pride and a sense ofaccomplishment and self-esteem.”

The demonstration will be the final activity of the fall fest,she said.

“We needed to raise money,” Green admitted. “A lot of parentscannot afford to do this even with a nominal fee, but mainly it’sto raise awareness. We have a totally volunteer staff and the onlycosts are the upkeep of the horses.”