Skip to content

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.

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 3 1 31

    Read More
  • Walking In The Smokies stall deadline approaching

    The Walking In The Smokies Horse Show, scheduled for April 8-10, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is preparing for their first annual show and would like to send a reminder to anyone needing stalls that the deadline is March 15. Please contact Lexi Stinnett at 828-550-8520 to reserve stalls on the show grounds. Read More
  • Trainers' Show announces judges

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association National Trainers’ Show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. March 18-20, 2021. Judges for the three-day event will be Wayne Dean, Newton Parks and Johnny Puckett. Read More
  • USDA prepares for 2021 show season

    The USDA recently conducted their virtual HIO training course for the 2021 show season. The USDA and industry recently received the final report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and some of the recommendations in that report are communicated in the new processes the USDA will implement in 2021... Read More
  • WHOA hosts virtual awards ceremony

    On Saturday. February 20th, the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) held their National High Point awards for 2020 on their WHOA Facebook page with winners who chose to be zooming in to accept their awards... Read More
  • WHOA to host virtual awards ceremony on February 20

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) will recognize their award winners from the 2020 show season during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2021. The show will be broadcast live on WHOA’s Facebook page beginning at 6 pm central time. Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase announces judging panel

    The FAST Spring Showcase is pleased to announce that John Fikes, Newton Parks and Sam Sorrell will judge this years’ two-day event. The show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. April 16-17, 2021... Read More
  • Obituary – Kimberly Woods

    Kimberly Lynn Woods, age 47 departed this life on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky... Read More
  • WHAA annual barn party rescheduled due to inclement weather

    There will be a lot of great items to auction as well as breeding fees to some of the top stallions in the industry and training fees for many of the top trainers. Everyone is encouraged to bring your young horses to preview for the upcoming show season. Read More
  • Birth Announcement – William Jackson Bauer

    Dr. & Mrs. Will  Bauer of Gainesville, Georgia welcomed their first child, William Jackson Bauer, on December 4, 2020. Jack weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces at birth... Read More