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Freedom Friends Handicapped Riders Session


"An Effort Made for the Happiness of Others Lifts Us Above Ourselves" Lydia M. Child


Freedom Friends, Inc. will begin its first 2005 eight-week session of student classes on March 3rd.

We need volunteers to help during these classes and we invite new students to enroll now.

Freedom Friends Inc. provides a therapeutic and recreational riding program for the physically and mentally challenged.

Research shows that students who participate in therapeutic riding can experience physical, emotional, and mental rewards. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscle strength.

For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience, and self-esteem. The sense of independence found on horseback benefits all that ride. Many medical professionals, including the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Occupational Therapy Association recognize the therapeutic qualities.

Freedom Friends is one of over 700 operating centers of the non-profit North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) which provides the guidelines and standards for accreditation, certification, education resources, and published materials for a program designed to contribute positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being of people with disabilities. Benefits are provided in therapy, education, sport and recreation.

There are numerous opportunities for volunteer service to support Freedom Friends. We need horse handlers and sidewalkers to assist the riders and instructor during the two-hour classes.

These volunteers help students groom and tack their mounts. They also assist in keeping the rider supervised and safe.

Other areas of service do not require working directly with horses, such as fund-raising, our sole source of income to defray operating costs; recruiting and training volunteers; staff scheduling for classes; medical, therapeutic and legal advisors; public relations; publications; first aid/CPR instructors; and clerical support for all activities.

Please volunteer your much needed help and, together, we can brighten the world of the physically and mentally challenged. Volunteers range in age from 14 - not telling.

There is a place for you to share your gifts and talents with others who need them.

Volunteer training for horse handlers and sidewalkers will be on Saturday, February 26th from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the JJ Ranch near Tullahoma. Registered Instructor, Jean Fergus, will conduct the training for new volunteers who will assist student riders. Instruction will cover the procedures for student orientation, wearing of safety gear, horse grooming, appropriate tack selection, mounting and dismounting, and horse handling.

Classes: Children’s classes- Thursday’s from 5-6:30pm March 3rd through April 21st.

Adult classes- Friday’s from 10-11am March 4th through April 22nd

Please call Jean Fergus at 455-2869 or Manesha Walker at 455-3641 to volunteer your help in any of the needed areas listed above or for information on enrollment for a physically or mentally challenged adult or child. Visit our website at

We are a non-profit organization. All donations to Freedom Friends are tax deductible and can make you feel good! We appreciate any donations you can make in the way of funding, your time, your talents, and your gifts.

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