Riding center receives funding from Dr. John T. Macdonald FoundationWhispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Center, a center that teaches horseback riding and horsemanship to people with a wide variety of disabilities, recently announced that it had received an $11,000 grant from the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation.
The center is located at 6208 SW123 Ave. in Kendall’s Horse Country.
The grant provides program scholarships for 20 Miami-Dade school children with special needs. The children, who attend schools within Miami- Dade, will participate in a 10-week program of combined therapeutic horseback riding and horsemanship. Each week the children will have the opportunity to work with the horses, learn about grooming and horse care, and how to ride the horses. Included in the grant is additional funding for new equipment and helmets.
“We are really excited to receive this grant from the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation,” said Dr. Erin Bauer, DVM, executive director at Whispering Manes.
“Since our inception, we have worked with both private and public schools in our community to offer therapeutic horseback riding classes as part of the school curriculum,” Dr. Bauer added. “It’s amazing to see the impact of this program on the participants, and the bond that develops between the children and the horses.”
Founded in 2011, Whispering Manes provides equine assisted activities to adults and children with special needs. At present Whispering Manes serves about 50 participants a week, many of whom are able to participate thanks to funding from private foundations.
“Unfortunately, not many schools have the resources to participate in this program.” Dr. Bauer continued. “Scholarships, like the one we received from the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation, allow us to bring programming to many more children with special needs in our community. The grant money will have an immediate impact, as new schools and participants will start the program in the fall.”