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Gitty Up, One Last Ride!

We hope you've enjoyed our 150 stories this year! We took the Town of Apex's suggestion to "go all in" this year and celebrate 150 years of the Town of Apex. Along our journey we attended many events, watched many stories from the video vault discovering back stories behind what makes the town's SESQUICENTENNIAL celebration special. Don't miss the special exhibit at the Halle Cultural Arts Center till the end of February to see all the special exhibits from the 150 celebration.

In our blog this year, we posted numerous stories- not 150, but many stories around the local community. Today's post, is about Horse and Buddy, which is a non-profit organization located in New Hill, North Carolina. Their organization offers therapeutic horse riding lessons for kids, teens, and adults! Horse and Buddy officially became a non-profit organization in 2004, but has been working as a therapeutic horse riding center since 2001. That is 21 years of working directly with those with diverse needs and their four-legged riding companions! Over the years, Horse and Buddy has become a valuable part of the New Hill community serving individuals with diverse needs including Down syndrome, autism, genetic disorders, anxiety, and many other diagnoses. The staff at Horse and Buddy works hard at making their main vision a reality which is to be a center of excellence in their field and transform lives in our community.

In order to attain this vision, the organization promotes its five main values that every staff member, human staff, and horse staff, follow to ensure Horse and Buddy is a safe, inclusive, and caring environment.

The values are as follows:

  1. Safety; is their number one priority to ensure the riders, instructors, and horses are able to complete their tasks in the safest matter.

  2. Professionalism; every instructor at Horse and Buddy follows the PATH standards and certification requirements. The horse buddies even go through a 60-day training period!

  3. Compassion; everyone from the riders, to the instructors, volunteers, donors, and especially the horses are treated with compassion and understanding at Horse and Buddy.

  4. Respect; Horse and Buddy values the act of giving and receiving respect to everyone involved in the organization and everyone seeking the many benefits of their work.

  5. Last, but certainly not least, Horse and Buddy wants everyone to have FUN!

These 5 core values guiding the staff and volunteers at Horse and Buddy, the experience for the riders is nothing short of excellent! The horses help individuals build confidence, self-esteem, and muscle strength. They also give the kids, teens, and adults an opportunity to work on their social and communication skills. The staff members work closely with the horses to make the therapeutic riding lessons a lot of fun for the riders and work to promote independence.

Horse and Buddy continue to extend their helping hands by offering many different experiences to a wide range of people. Some of these experiences include their Silver Saddle program, which offers horse riding lessons to the senior communities in our area. Another program that is offered at Horse and Buddy is their Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy experience which is offered to those experiencing depression, anxiety, PTSD, or grief and loss. This program is assisted by a licensed mental health professional, a PATH-certified staff member, and a certified therapy horse. In addition to the two exceptional programs listed above, Horse and Buddy also offers an Equine Assisted Learning experience. The Equine Assisted Learning experience offers a unique experiential learning approach that promotes the development of life skills in partnership with horses.

If you or someone you know is interested in making a donation to Horse and Buddy, an online donation can be placed here.

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