Therapeutic Equestrian Center Raising Funds for People with Disabilities
SIRE, Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Centers, held their 18th Annual Saddle Up for SIRE Ride-A-Thon on Saturday, October 9th. Over 400 people joined the cause, bringing their horses and wagons to 7IL Trails for the yearly trail ride. Also participating were 25 riders of a different sort, riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles from Houston to Cat Spring. Additionally, the Top 15 SIRE clients raising the most funds participated in an exciting Pony Express themed trail ride. This year’s ride, sponsored by The Wedge Group, was a huge success, raising a preliminary estimate of almost $70,000 in donations for the organization.
Over 150 riders participated in a six or 12 mile trail ride across the 1150 acres of privately owned land on the 7IL Trails in Cat Spring, Texas. The Rezniceks have generously supported SIRE for ten years by donating the facility to SIRE for the day to further fundraising efforts! 7IL opened to the public in 1999 as a trail riding and entertainment facility and in 2003 the 7IL Boarding Stables was built. The cattle operation is comprised of branding, ear marking, vaccinating and castrating as it was done in the 1800’s, although hay is harvested off the land each year with modern, time-saving equipment. Both square and round bales are made for the cattle herd and all the horses in the boarding stables. 7IL continues to enhance the ranch and trails for all families to enjoy; new trail markers were installed on the 40 miles of trails, as well as building additional showers, restrooms and a gift shop facility.
“Ride-A-Thon is always a SIRE favorite. Twenty-seven years of getting children and adults with disabilities in the saddle, and eighteen years of declaring a special day to celebrate and raise much needed funds for the organization; the history involved is unparalleled”, says Executive Director Jimm Williams. Board Chairman Mike Dillingham validates Williams’ declaration and adds, “We all enjoy the day at 7IL with our SIRE family and friends, and of course, our horses!”
SIRE uses equine assisted activities to assist clients in overcoming the physical and mental obstacles associated with their disability. SIRE clients have disabilities ranging from autism, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, certain kinds of spinal/brain injuries and many other kinds of disabilities that limit normal movement, balance and spatial awareness.
SIRE, Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Centers, is a non-profit therapeutic horseback riding program which uses the spirit and movement of the horse to benefit people with disabilities. SIRE has been active in the Houston area for the past 27 years and currently serves over 175 clients per week at sites in Hockley, Spring and Ft. Bend County. SIRE is the only NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) Premier Accredited riding center in the Houston area. For more information about SIRE, call 281.356.7588 or visit www.sire-htec.org.
Corporate Platinum and Golden Saddle underwriters of the Saddle Up For SIRE Ride-A-Thon sponsored by The Wedge Group include 7IL Trails, Ft. Bend Publishing, TGS-Nopec Geophysical Company, The White Family, Brooks & Sparks Engineering, Chevron Humankind Matching Gift Program, Charlotte’s Saddlery, Championship Trophies, Minute Maid, Nutech Energy Alliance, Raptor Technologies, Texas Farm & Ranch Magazine, Compass Pointe Homes, KN Sales-Houston Appliances and Houston Cabinets, and Lansdowne-Moody Co.
Boys Painting Bob
Pink Cowboy Couple
Photography by Nancy Cooper Smith