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Angels visit REINS riding program


Last updated 9/25/2008 at Noon

Volunteer Chairman Chris Merry (second from left) shows equipment used in the REINS program to Angel ladies (from left) Martha MacFarlane, Linda Van Buskirk and Sharon Daniels.

FALLBROOK — On a recent summer morning, 25 members of the Fallbrook Angel Society enjoyed an educational morning at the REINS (Riding, Emphasizing Individual Needs and Strengths) therapeutic riding program.

The organization has provided some $35,000 in funding for the program over the years, but this was the first time the ladies witnessed it firsthand.

Volunteers assist an adult student onto a horse at the loading ramp built for the handicapped in the REINS program.

The horse riding program for disabled adults and children presently has 172 pupils with a waiting list. There are 12 instructors and many volunteers to assist, providing half-hour sessions. Each student starts out with help and the goal is to get them to ride by themselves.

The facility on South Mission opened in 1999 with the purchase of the 10-acre property. Many horses are boarded on the property to generate income to help with the program, which is supported by grants and fundraisers.

Shauna Jopes has been program director for 15 years. She says horse riding is a form of physical, mental and emotional therapy; it helps the brain to function better. The program is offered six days a week.

After touring the facilities and watching the rewarding riding program, the Angel ladies enjoyed lunch at Peking Wok in Bonsall.


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