Leah Forhnerath is a Director and Trainer for Horses for the Handicap located in Seminole FL. This is a recreational riding program for those with many types of handicaps and It’s offered free of charge. Horses for Handicapped was founded by the late Gene Harris in 1981 as a Kiwanis project when he approached Girl Scout/4-H leader Mary Urquhart with his idea. Mary who is 83, is found daily at the stables doing any work that is necessary. I asked Leah why there is no charge to the riders, she stated “Mary feels that the family with handicapped children have enough financial burden to deal with and wanted to offer this for free.”
The horses come from many different resources, from rescue facilities, donated from former owners and some are leased to the foundation. All these horses are well treated and properly cared for. The health and wellbeing for each of them is a top concern for Leah and her staff. “The horses have the right temperament” states Leah. “We take special care in matching each rider with the right horse for their particular need.” Leah, related a story about her sister who has seizures and the horse she rides can sense an episode before it happens.
One main sponsor of the foundation is Kiwanis of Seminole FL, but like all nonprofits they do solicit funds from others. If you have a need for this type of service or if you would like to get involved either by donating funds or time, please contact Leah, I know you’ll be glad you did.
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