It was a rainy Fall day, and not just a light sprinkle – a downpour, where the sky opened up and the heavens emptied out – and there was not a single person in attendance who wasn’t smiling. Happiness emanated from both competitors and the audience at this years annual PARD Charity Games Show.
The PARD Charity games show is a fun day meant for all ages and stages of riders and is one of the organisation’s biggest fundraisers of the season. Volunteers work hard to put on a day full of friendly competition and games that bring riders from barns all over the region. The spectators made up of family and friends cheer and laugh watching the comradery – even the competitors cheer each other on, waiting eagerly to see the end results of their division.
PARD is a registered charity run solely by volunteers that opens the proverbial barn door to riders of differing abilities. This amazing 35-year young not-for-profit helps riders of all ages, with disabilities that include: cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, stroke, accidental injury, and visual & hearing challenges to access the therapeutic benefits of riding.
A volunteer instructor supervises each riding session and must be certified through the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA). Using the abilities of the rider, PARD provides individualized riding instruction. The “three-dimensional” motion of a walking horse mimics human walking and stimulates the rider, helping to enhance balance, posture, mobility, co-ordination, and strength. By adding other exercises or movement, they can help rehabilitate specific parts of the rider’s body. The program is also designed to enhance a riders social, emotional, and psychological well-being in a fun, non-clinical environment.
From its infancy to today; a registered charity and member of the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) PARD owes its continuing success to a long and distinguished list of volunteers whose time, talents and hard work make it possible. PARD continues to receive support from the community through fund raising, service clubs, corporate sponsors, volunteers and many others, too numerous to mention.
A donation to a charitable organisation makes a great gift when done in the name of a loved one, and PARD receives numerous ‘Christmas Cards’ with donations in the mail this time of year. If you would like to donate, your Christmas Card would be thankfully received by horses and riders alike, and can be sent to the address below.
PARD – Building confidence, skills, and ability on horseback.
PARD Therapeutic Riding
P.O. Box 1654 Peterborough, ON K9J 7S4
Photo Credit – Meg Gillis Photography (Horse with Wreath)