A mountain horse center wants to make it easier for people with disabilities to saddle up.
Mountain Dell Equestrian in Waynesville has been teaching students to ride for years. But now, they want those with disabilities like cerebral palsy and autism, to be able to ride too.
Owner Angela Fowler is raising money to buy a portable, wheelchair accessible mounting ramp. "We can roll the up the ramp and then assist them to getting on a horse who will be at their level. Basically it's the difference as to whether they can do it or not." She adds, "You might not be able to control your own legs, but you can control the thousand pound animal."
Janet Presson runs "A Small Miracle" in Waynesville, which helps people with disabilities. It has a special focus on autism. Her son, Rob, is autistic. But riding at Mountain Dell or anywhere, she says you'd never know it. She says a special needs ramp, would be special for many people. "It just makes the whole experience accessible to a whole other population whether they're disabled vets, or whether they're adults in wheelchairs or children in wheelchairs."
Fowler started a fundraiser to buy the ramp from a company called "Handi-Ramp," which she says is offering a 10% discount. So far, she's raised about $200, but nearly $3,000 is needed.
She says the ramp is portable so she can take it to other venues or loan it to other horse organizations.
By: Rex Hodge
Follow Rex on Twitter @RexHodgeWLOS