MAKANDA (WSIL) -- The pandemic has been hard on non-profits in more ways than one. Specialized Equine Services and Therapeutic Riding at Giant City Stables is looking for your help.
"Our mission is improving the quality of life through the healing power of horses," explains Patricia Nardini, Co-Founder of the program.
Specialized Equine Services and Therapeutic Riding offers horse assisted learning to those with disabilities and veterans.
"The horses have such powerful healing energy. We see your posture and balance improve just by sitting on the horse. In the veterans we've seen the medications that they take is diminished. They're more social. Their thoughts of suicide have diminished," says Nardini.
Nardini says the therapy makes a huge difference in their everyday quality of life. "Riding a horse is more than just riding a horse. You come away with a sustained connectedness that translates to an overall well being with confidence. It's a powerful experience."
However, the pandemic has made both fundraising and volunteer recruiting difficult. Nardini says they're looking for volunteers. "You have to be sixteen years old and it's a workout. You have to be able to walk in the sand for about 45 minutes and maybe even run, jog, a little bit. What we need is the side walkers to make sure the rider does not fall off the horse."
No previous horse experience is needed. Nardini says you'll learn all you need to know in orientation. "We do the training and the orientation. It's definitely an awesome experience to be able to help somebody else and kind of give back. Actually you're apart of maybe the most joyful part of their entire week, when you get to work with some of these special needs people."
If you want to donate or volunteer. Nardini says you can contact their stable for more information.