Roping in new members

Callaway-based Spirit Riders host Fulton event, promotes good character

Ava Miller, 7, prepares to rope a "steerhead" at a Spirit Rider outreach event Saturday near Truman Park Lake.

Ava Miller, 7, prepares to rope a "steerhead" at a Spirit Rider outreach event Saturday near Truman Park Lake. Photo by Dean Asher.

When Sue Crane was riding her horse as a teenager she made a promise to God she would pass the sense of peace and empowerment it brought her onto other children who otherwise might never have the chance.

Years later she is realizing that promise through her Spirit Rider program. The group started about five years ago and is based out of CrossWinds Ranch, a nonprofit ranch near Millersburg.

Though many of the youth in the program are from Boone County through Crane’s early connections to Granny’s House, an outreach program for inner-city teens in Columbia, an event at the Fulton Housing Authority on Saturday was one of many that she hoped would increase the number of Spirit Riders from Callaway County.

“We try to get out as often as we can to different people who wouldn’t get to make it out to the ranch,” Crane said, noting about 50 to 60 children from the Housing Authority had attended Saturday. “I feel strongly that there’s something about a horse that’s good for people.”

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