Orford’s Parkside Ranch to host golf fundraiser

Orford’s Parkside Ranch to host golf fundraiser

By Jack Wilson


Parkside Ranch is gearing up for its first annual golf fundraiser, intended to support the Orford non-profit’s therapeutic horse-riding program as well as its summer camp. The fundraiser aims to raise $20,000 to cover the fees for those who couldn’t otherwise afford its programs.

“We try to live up to a philosophy that we don’t want money to be a barrier of access,” executive director Michael Drew said. He said about 10 per cent of families participating in the summer camp need help paying their fees. Closer to 60 or 70 per cent of people in the therapeutic riding program need assistance, he said.

The therapeutic riding program is targeted to people with a variety of needs, including autism, ADHD and self esteem difficulties. Clients are “learning legitimate equestrian skills, but at the same time they’re developing coping mechanisms to help them with their challenge,” Drew said. “There are exercises we can integrate into therapeutic riding that give them opportunities to work on those things.”

For example, someone needing help with their equilibrium might benefit from posture and core strength activities. Someone learning to respond to verbal instruction might incorporate instructions into an action like riding around the track.

Parkside Ranch has 20 horses, Drew said. Retired horses stay on the property and are able to continue providing emotional support into their old age.

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