HETRA is the April Mission of the Month
The Mission for April is focused on the organization HETRA. The non-profit organization HETRA (Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy) is located in Gretna, NE, and strives, “to improve the quality of life both physically and emotionally of adults and children with disabilities through equine assisted activities. This wonderful organization provides:
- Hippotherapy: Lessons taught by Occupational, Physical, or Speech Therapist that use neurodevelopmental treatment and sensory integration along with the movement of the horse as part of the treatment strategy. The goals of these lessons are to improve balance, coordination, posture, fine motor control, articulation, and cognitive skills.
- Therapeutic Riding: Lessons taught by Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International) certified instructors designed to teach the students how to control their horse through the use a proper aids such as reigns. Students begin with a horse leader and side-walkers and progress into independent riders.
- Therapeutic Carriage Driving: Lessons taught by PATH International certified instructors to offer an alternative to students who are unable to safely mount and ride a horse. Therapeutic driving is designed to teach about safety, horses, harnessing, and driving skills through the use of teamwork.
- Public Riding Lessons: English and Western lessons available to the general public.
- Equine Services for Heroes: A program designed distinctly for veterans to participate in the various therapeutic opportunities.
- Summer Camp: A week of fun learning about basic riding skills and general horse care, and partaking in crafts.
HETRA is always looking for great volunteers to help with their everyday programs. Volunteering can be a huge commitment; volunteers are asked to commit to a weekly time-slot for 12 weeks, however, the satisfaction and fun that you receive in return is well worth the commitment! Volunteers go through a training process to ensure the safety of everyone. Most volunteers start out as a side-walker for the students, an equipment person (help to set-up or re-set-up equipment during and after lessons) or a schedule keeper to make sure that lessons are kept on-time. From there, a volunteer can progress into grooming and tacking the horses (brushing and putting the equipment on the horses), becoming a blue and the more advanced, gold, horse leader. Finally, if an opening arises, a volunteer may have the opportunity to run the show by becoming a barn leader.
Blue Jeans and Dreams Fundraiser
Don’t think you can commit to a 12 week session? Start out small by helping out with the annual fundraising event, Blue Jeans and Dreams. HETRA will be hosting the event this year on May 2nd. Volunteers are needed to help clean-up the facility on April 18th, 24th, and 25th, and to set-up for the event on May 1st. If you are interested in volunteering on any of these dates, please contact Ashley Torrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about or more a donation to HETRA, visit www.HETRA.org. While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for a barn tour on April 14th or April 20th at 5:30pm!