Horse & Buddy, the first Cary Magazine Gives Back charity partner, aids children and adults in developing confidence and coordination. Its riders have conditions from Down syndrome and cerebral palsy to multiple sclerosis and autism that pose developmental challenges.
Horse and Buddy serves 75 children and adults each week on a 35-acre plot in New Hill gifted from a donor, complete with a 10-stall barn.
Horse & Buddy exists to help individuals with special needs improve balance, muscle tone, motor skills, and self-esteem through therapeutic horseback riding
The Sensory Trail features hills, chimes and a clip-clop bridge for auditory stimulation.
A wishlist notes the items most needed to keep the organization running – from horse treats and pine shavings to a lawnmower. And of course, the horses themselves.
(left) Dhruv Shah, a 4-year-old and with spastic cerebral palsy, began riding in 2011. Dhruv had trouble sitting up and spoke only a few words when he started riding, but now he talks in sentences and walks with aid. (right) Peanut, one of Horse and Buddy's therapeutic animals.
Horse and Buddy holds its annual Sequins & Spurs Gala at Prestonwood Country Club. 2013 marked the eighth year. This year's gala raised nearly $60,000 while welcoming 160 guests.
Two riders won a year of free riding with Horse & Buddy via a raffle offering, thanks to sponsors Picasso Pawn and Oriana Stables.
Volunteers are always needed. Anyone 14 years or older can help — no experience necessary!