I’ve loved horses for as long as I can remember, and one of my favorite things to do as a horse owner is to give children their first experience of riding a horse. So when I spent the day at an event put on by Hope Rides for Hope Kids, I simply couldn’t stop smiling.
Hope Rides is a unique therapeutic riding program in Minnesota. I say unique, because they offer therapeutic riding to young people who might just need some horse time to build confidence or overcome a difficulty in their lives, versus having a physical or mental handicap. The founder of Hope Rides, Vollie Heitkamp, is an inspiring woman. Her love for kids, horses is evident in all she does, and her relationship with God inspires me to want to love Him more.
This particular event was in cooperation with Hope Kids, whose work is focused on restoring hope and creating transformation in the lives of kids with life-threatening medical conditions. Many of these kids had never ridden or been around horses. Their joy in this experience was a delight to capture!
The horses really love kicking these big soccer balls around, and it gives the kids a fun activity on horseback.
The horses got a lot of love on this day!
Trotting causes giggling. :)
The smiles weren’t just on the kids’ faces, the Hope Rides volunteers were full of them too! They are such great people with kind and generous hearts.
This is Vollie, the leader of Hope Rides. I love her laugh!
A few treats for a job well done.