Horse program helps harness growth in area youth

Reagan Verwys, 10, of Fulton, practices her grooming skills Thursday afternoon as part of the Spirit Riders program at CrossWind Ranch. Verwys said her favorite part of the program has been learning how to communicate with the horses.

Reagan Verwys, 10, of Fulton, practices her grooming skills Thursday afternoon as part of the Spirit Riders program at CrossWind Ranch. Verwys said her favorite part of the program has been learning how to communicate with the horses. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

— Patience, self-control, courage, caring, cooperation. These are all things the young girls participating in the Spirit Riders say they have learned from the program.

As the group of volunteers that runs the Spirit Riders equestrian program out at CrossWind Ranch north of Millersburg seeks to involve more children in Callaway County, they also are looking for more support from the community.

The group will host Life is a Ride!, a performance and fundraiser at 3 p.m. on Sept. 17 as a way to show what the Spirit Riders have learned during the past year and generate local interest in the program.

Volunteer Sue Crane said the Spirit Riders were started six years ago on the premise that “every child should have an opportunity to bond with a horse,” and to benefit from that bond.

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