In recent years, more and more retired Thoroughbred organizations have appeared, trying to make sure our retired athletes have a forever home and purpose. Eventing, Hunter/Jumpers and Dressage are some of the more visible ways the public sees our retired racehorses displaying their new found job.
MTRA (Marion Therapeutic Riding Association -www.MTRAOcala.org) is a wonderful example that shows how another purpose can be found for these horses that brings joy to many who struggle with day-to-day life. The impact horses have in being utilized in rehabilitation and recreation for disabled and handicapped children and adults is immeasurable. Not only is it a freeing experience for these riders to be sitting on a horse’s back, free of their wheelchairs, crutches and walkers, but the personal connections made between rider and horse also lifts spirits of the horses as well.
MTRA owes a lot of their success and accomplishments to the volunteers. They are the unsung heroes who make possible a day of joy, free of life’s burdens and concerns both for riders and their caretakers. All of the MTRA’s volunteers have dedicated many hours to the cause of rehabilitating horses and humans who have disabilities. MTRA recently had an appreciation banquet for the many volunteers they so desperately depend on. The food, gifts for volunteers, centerpieces, and event location were all donated. MTRA felt so blessed to be able to have this evening to say thank you to their volunteers because without them their mission would not be possible.
Please read about MTRA’s profile provided by Director Laurie Bruun, and take a moment to visit their Facebook Page here, to see all the hard work these wonderful volunteers do as well as Laurie and her small staff.
If you are so inclined and would like to volunteer or donate, please do so, and keep in mind these horses are providing joy to many who so need it and we are sure the horses love their new jobs as well.