They say some horses will test you, some will teach you and some will bring out the best in you.
Patti Andersen, Kristi Hart and Karole Lee of Quarter Moon Acres see this on a regular basis with the clients of the equine therapy business.
The QMA annual Barn Bash is coming up October 2, 2021, which will help raise funds for their business offering unique opportunities to their clients.
The ladies with a love for horses are living a dream of providing horseback-riding lessons for therapy for those in need. Quarter Moon Acres (QMA) in Amery was Polk County’s first Christian-based horse center to offer this type of treatment.
The business has grown from one client in 2014 to 18 clients in 2021. Although last year they didn’t have therapy due to COVID. “We have enabled people to ride from 8 years of age to 88, with people from Amery Memory Care riding with us a few years ago,” said Lee.
The women agree some of the best parts of the business are seeing the faces of the clients on the 1000 lb. animals, while they try control them with only a pair of reins and over-coming the fear of riding the large animals and watching the faces of the elderly ride when they thought they would never ride again.
They love how equine therapy has enabled some riders to lead a more independent life – i.e. getting a driver’s license and or full-time jobs.
Clients form bonds with horses after years of riding the same horse. Lee said, “Volunteers also become close with clients and enjoy seeing each and every one of them. Some young volunteers have also gone onto schooling for occupational therapy and other things along those lines.”
The project has not been without challenges. The biggest seems to be recruiting and retaining volunteers. “We ask a lot of the volunteers. We need three volunteers per client and with a large number of clients, they get burnt out quickly. Also, we have turned down clientele due to not have enough volunteers,” they said.
Weather has been a challenge also, which is why they are trying to build an indoor facility. They would love to have classes during less opportune weather conditions.
Each year for the past five years (except 2020), QMA has held a Barn Bash to raise funds.
Barn bash is first Saturday of October every year. “We started the barn bash as a fundraiser for QMA and a way to get our name out there. We want to be part of the community as much as we can. There are fun activities for all ages, from live music, crazy hair, pony rides, petting zoo to a mechanical bull and laser tag,” they said.
QMA is located at 1347 55th Avenue, Amery, WI 54001