Horse-therapy program holds virtual fundraiser
Riding Beyond, a free, volunteer-run horse-therapy program for breast cancer survivors is holding a virtual spring raffle, offering cheese, wine, beer and flowers to raise money for care of horses and maintaining a digital teaching network during the virus shutdown.
The Ashland-based ranch offers entrainment — with the horses’ calm strength and slow, intimate breathing — to help breast-cancer survivors get through the painful physical, emotional and spiritual side-effects of surgery, chemo and radiation, which can linger for years, says Riding Beyond founder and chief instructor Trish Broersma.
The organization has canceled all events for this year, shifting to virtual or streaming technology for monthly “gatherings” and production of professional training videos and live events.
Broersma, author of the 2008 “Riding Into Your Mythic Life,” says the horse-human connection works on “heart breathing” or coherent breathing, by tuning in with the horse’s rhythms. “The horse is highly attuned to our environment, and they pick up energies that we don’t pick up, so when we pay attention to what the horse is doing, we connect with the Earth.”
To support these programs, Riding Beyond is raffling a wheelbarrow full of local art, fruit, chocolate, coffee beans, wine and beer, valued at over $1,000, with the May 30 drawing scheduled live on Zoom. Raffle tickets cost $25, available at ridingbeyond.org. The goal is to sell 1,000 tickets.
The sessions go beyond just breast cancer survivors, Broersma notes, and can be helpful to friends and family, as well as the general public. Riding Beyond works with area hospitals to “further the holistic approach to healing breast cancer, because (patients) are pretty much unprepared for what comes after surviving it.”
Broersma has been a leader in the development of therapeutic riding, having started doing it 30 years ago. Last year, she was one of six presenters before 600 people at the PATH (Professional Association for Therapeutic Riding) Convention. It has 10,000 members and sets standards for safety and professionalism. She started Riding Beyond in 2013 and is in the leadership of the PATH northwest region.
Donation of items for the raffle, called “Fertilize the Future,” can be made by emailing Carolyn Jost at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People can buy tickets for friends, and you do not have to be present (virtually) to win.
A short video about the program is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw4C0fitlxI&feature=youtu.be.