Lions Club, T.R.E.A.T work together for high school event

By Ginger Cousins – 

The Stephenville and Granbury high school students with disabilities came to the Tarleton Equine Center on April 26 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for an eventful morning of riding horses, shooting basketballs, playing horse shoes and participating in hay roping.

The Lions Club started coming to the Equine Center in 2004, working beside Dr. Snyder to put together a similar event to the “Special Kids Rodeo,” but instead this event is more directed towards an older crowd. The age group of the students range from 12-20 years old. There were approximately 30 kids attending, 20 from Stephenville and 10 from Granbury. They also had at least, if not more than 20 volunteers, including teachers.

“It keeps them active and going” said Wayne Cooper, a member of the Lions Club.

The students are allowed to stay in school until the age of 21, so until tstay they can come to the center to stay active and involved. After high school some of the students may not have the opportunity to do activities like this again.

The students have to wait patiently in line for their turn to ride the horse.

“First time, it sometimes freaks them out and all they do is sit on the horse” said Cooper.

Then the next time they work up more courage and actually ride the horse. The students are so proud of their accomplishments.

“They will come up to me saying, I did it, I did it! I rode the horse,” Cooper said.

Also during the year, the students have the chance to go to the ropes course at the Tarleton Challenge. There the students will spend the day doing the balance board, spider sweep and zip line.

“It’s a great thing. They love doing it and it builds self-esteem,” Cooper said.

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