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Dickinson County 4-H Proud Equestrian Program seeks volunteers and sponsors

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Dickinson County 4-H Proud Equestrian Program, or PEP, is a therapeutic horseback riding program for youth and young adults ages 5 to 26 who have physical and/or cognitive disabilities.

This year’s program is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily Aug. 9-13 at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds in Norway. The final 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 the rider’s fine and gross motor skills, while providing core strengthening and positive sensory stimulation.

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.

Ways to get involved in this year’s program include:

— Becoming a youth, teen or adult volunteer.

— Becoming a platinum, gold, silver or bronze sponsor 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 a horse to be evaluated and used for the program.

— Supplying the program with hay, bedding and other supplies to house the program horses for the week.

For more information or to get involved with the program, contact Jessica Coron at the MSU Extension Office at 906-302-3253 or by email at coronjes@msu.edu.

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