HorsePlay Inc. welcomed community members to an open house Saturday, May 15, to give the public a chance to see what’s been happening at the equine therapy facility and how they can get involved.

HorsePlay Inc. is a nonprofit organization at 815 Westside Dr. that provides recreational horseback riding opportunities for children with mental or physical challenges. The organization’s goal is to help students build muscle strength and coordination, develop relationships with horses and people and to have fun along the way.

The program is operated and certified under the guidelines of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International).

HorsePlay currently serves over 60 children with eight horses and over 70 community volunteers of all ages that include students, retirees, physical therapists and nurses.

At the open house, visitors were given a chance to look around the John Freeman Memorial Riding Arena where the nonprofit holds some of its sessions for children. Visitors also had the chance to see some of the newer additions to the facilities like the bathroom facilities next to the arena, the sensitivity trail and the memorial benches for the horses that have retired from HorsePlay.

The memorial benches were placed where the eventual patio is planned to be built with some of the memorial bricks HorsePlay has been selling as one of its fundraisers.

During the open house, attendees were presented with a demonstration of what the kids normally do during their sessions when riding the horses. Program Coordinator Hollie Holder talked about the various therapeutic sessions offered at Horse Play and what skills the children work on ranging from strength training, following directions and boosting one’s confidence.

The riders, with volunteers and walkers by them, showed the audience the skills they have been learning at HorsePlay while following Holder’s instructions. When the demonstration was finished, attendees had the chance to meet the horses and see their stables. 

HorsePlay’s next fundraiser is the HorsePlay Kids’ Horse Show on Saturday, July 10, at the Coffee County Fairgrounds at 99 Lakeview Drive, Manchester.

For more information, call 307-0774, go to horseplayinc.org or send a message to the Horse Play Inc. Facebook page.