Rotary Club supports Little Hooves and Big Hearts

Left to right: Elaine Terry looks on as a staff member of Little Hooves Big Hearts instruct Wendy Guyton on how to drive the carriage.

Stephen Argentati

After an immensely successful 20th Annual Fore For Kids charity golf tournament, the Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke has been able to positively impact our community by supporting a variety of local organizations that serve youth. This is one of the many ways that the club lives up to their motto of “service above self.”

One main benefactor of the tournament was Little Hooves & Big Hearts, a local non-profit which helps seniors and children with special needs get to a better place in their lives, both physically and emotionally, through interaction with specially trained miniature horses. Located in Oracle, the Little Hooves & Big Hearts ranch provides over 200 free therapy sessions annually.

In order to better understand the organization, the SaddleBrooke Rotary Club toured the ranch during an off-site visit. Upon arrival, we were given a detailed explanation of the work they do and their care for the miniature horses. Videos were shown, including one about Madison, a young girl with severe developmental disabilities, who was one of the organization’s many success stories. After seeing 19 different specialists with no improvements, Madison’s frustrated parents brought her into Little Hooves & Big Hearts for equine-assisted therapy, and were overjoyed to see her make dramatic improvements in verbal communication and physical strength.

After that, we were instructed in how to care for and exercise the horses, and were given the opportunity to walk the horses one-on-one through the corral, where an obstacle course was set up for the horses to navigate. We were also given the opportunity to walk the trail used for client-horse bonding and solitude, and some Rotarians were even given a ride in a wagon pulled by larger horses.

Our club members were grateful for the opportunity to visit the ranch, and were excited to share their experiences with others. Doug May, the president of SaddleBrooke Rotary Club, was no exception.

“This incredible experience instilled an appreciation for the unique bond shared between horses and people,” he said. “It was evident that seniors and children with disabilities could come to Little Hooves and Big Hearts for life-changing therapy.”

Help support this organization and others by signing up for next year’s Fore For Kids Golf tournament, which will take place on April 15th, 2019. Please save the date and contact Bob Christadore for more information at 415-264-0123 or [email protected]

Also, if you would be interested in directly serving your community and participating in exciting experiences such as this off-site visit, please join us for lunch any Thursday at 11:30am at HOA1. The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke is open to men and women who work or retire in SaddleBrooke, SaddleBrooke Ranch, and the surrounding area. Please visit us at SaddleBrookeRotary.com or contact Wendy Guyton at 520-404-5712 or [email protected]