Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse industry. Today, we recognize Misty Meadows Mitey Riders, a therapeutic riding service based in North Carolina.
Misty Meadows Mitey Riders first popped onto our radar for founder Harry Swimmer’s CNN Heroes nomination. The accompanying video that played during the CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute will touch your heart:
Harry and Marilyn Swimmer built their Misty Meadows Farm as their life’s work, breeding and training champion show horses. When many would have eased into retirement, reflecting on a long and fulfilling equestrian career, Harry Swimmer witnessed firsthand how even the briefest encounter with a horse could change a child with special needs. From that moment on, the Swimmers dedicated themselves to turning Misty Meadows Farm into a therapeutic riding center.
Now a PATH International Premier Accredited Center, Misty Meadows Mitey Riders welcomes children from age 5 to 18 with conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, Down syndrome, post-brain tumor removal, autism, learning disabilities and more. Hundreds of volunteers come together to keep Mitey Riders operating, united by the common theme of giving back to each other. And according to Swimmer, all of the hard work is totally worth it to see the real changes that take place in the life of his riders.
Misty Meadows Mitey Riders offers lessons free of charge to its special needs students, relying on donations to meet operating expenses. If you’d like to donate to Misty Meadows Mitey Riders, click here to view all of the available options.
While Harry Swimmer was not selected as CNN’s Hero of the Year, we’re happy that the world of therapeutic riding reached a wider audience, helping to share the message that working with horses can be a valuable and life-changing opportunity for individuals with special needs.
Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.