Please consider a donati0n
Before Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, the Association had four horses, including our superstar, Emma, and another big mare, Lily, who had just been donated to us the day before. For the upcoming season, we were counting on borrowing additional horses from the barn owner, including Bomber, who we have used for the past two years. The storm changed all of that.
Tragically, all three of these horses were casualties of the hurricane.
Despite these devastating losses, our commitment in supporting the Special Olympics Equestrian Team remains steadfast. That means we are facing our biggest challenges ever.
With the team’s new season beginning in less than two months, the association finds itself with only two owned horses and a diminished pool from which to borrow additional horses.
While all 10 of our saddles were submerged under 6 feet of flood water, we are optimistic that we have been able to clean and restore them sufficiently. Our saddle pads were a collection of hand-me-downs and we are hopeful that they will clean.
Our biggest concern now is the difficulty we have always faced in finding the right horses for our team.
We had searched all summer for a horse to replace Chance, after he developed cataracts. We thought Lily was going to be the right one.
A horse with a special temperament, specifically suitable for riders with special needs, is an absolute must in our selection process. From our experience, we firmly believe that a horse's temperament is not something that is dependent upon the cost of the horse. Donations are of great assistance in widening our search, allowing us to consider more potential horses for the team that otherwise we would not have access to.
Any amount you are able to donate will be greatly appreciated, and will help the Association replace these lost horses so that we can rise to this immense challenge and keep the Special Olympics Equestrian Team going strong.
On a personal note...
We sat down and figured out what the average cost is to feed and care for a healthy horse. It's about $5,000 per year. There might be a few big companies that could afford that, but that's too much to ask any one person to come up with. Many of our families already have extraordinary medical expenses because of their special needs children. We can't ask them to come up with an additional $5,000 per horse.
This is something we want to continue doing. And in order to do this, we have to raise funds. We need additional horses right now. Our program has to have 6 horses to function the way it is, or we will have to make cut-backs, and less athletes will be able to participate.
Therefore, it's our wish to reach out to as many individuals as we can, to offer the opportunity to give back a little bit, in hopes that they might share whatever they can for these special athletes that could make good use of it.
We really hope you can help support these young athletes and their endeavors, and the ones that come after them. It's definitely worthwhile, and we sure appreciate it.