County 4-H Proud Equestrian Program scheduled for Aug. 7-11

NORWAY — The Dickinson County 4-H Proud Equestrian Program is a therapeutic horseback riding program for youth and young adults ages 5 to 26 with disabilities in Dickinson County and surrounding areas.

This year’s program is scheduled for Aug. 7-11 at the Dickinson County fairgrounds from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The last day of the program concludes with lunch and a trail ride around the fairgrounds, weather permitting.

PEP operates under the direction of a certified instructor, along with a number of youth, teen and adult volunteers. It’s designed to improve balance, posture, coordination, muscle tone, confidence, self-esteem, discipline and social growth of riders.

In addition, it improves rider’s fine and gross motor skills, while providing core strengthening and positive sensory stimulation.

“More importantly, riding is fun,” said Jessica Coron, MSU extension.

Volunteers who participate in this program are able to explore career opportunities in the field of therapeutic riding and other related fields such as medicine, education and rehabilitation. They are also able to demonstrate increased awareness, sensitivity and appreciation toward those with disabilities.

Persons can get involved in this year’s program by:

— Becoming a youth, teen or adult volunteer;

— Becoming a platinum, gold, silver or bronze sponsor of the program by donating funds to help support this program. All sponsors will be recognized during the program and though various news sources;

— Signing up to be a rider by requesting the required paperwork and forms from the MSU Extension Office. Every rider will be assigned a specific riding time before they arrive at the program;

— Signing up your horse to be evaluated and used for the program;

— Supplying the program with needed hay, bedding, etc., to accommodate the program horses for the week.

 Anyone interested in getting involved with the PEP or who would like more information can contact Jessica Coron at MSU Extension at 906-774-0363.