By Kris Rued-Clark
MARSHFIELD — HART Equine Therapy Center is a therapeutic riding center that provides lessons for children and adults with special needs. Earlier this year, HART achieved status as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and lessons began in May. The first major fundraiser for HART, the Haunted Horsey Hustle, is a 5k Fun Run/Walk and 1-Mile Walk being held on Saturday, Oct. 18 at Wildwood Zoo, 1800 S. Roddis Ave. in Marshfield.
Participants are invited to run or walk through a maze of woods and pumpkins and perhaps even see some ghosts. Runners and walkers are asked to register online at www.active.com by October 1 in order to receive a T-shirt. Race day registrations will also be accepted in the Soo Line Room at the Wildwood Station Building. Anyone wearing a costume will receive a treat. Dogs on a leash are welcome, with or without costumes.
Registration and packet pickup begins at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 18. The 5k run/walk starts at noon, and the 1-mile walk begins at 12:15 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for best costume and also for the fastest male and female runners.
Hart, the miniature horse who serves as the mascot for HART Equine Therapy Center, along with his companion, a miniature horse named Cocoa, will be at the event, and participants may have their photos taken with Hart and Cocoa. Proceeds from the Haunted Horsey Hustle will be put toward scholarships for riders and for the mounting ramp fund, which will allow access for wheelchair-bound riders.
At HART Equine Therapy Center, those with challenges and/or special needs have an opportunity to partner with a horse to give them a sense of accomplishment and self-worth while in a safe and fun environment. As an individual lesson may require the instructor plus up to five volunteers to assist, additional volunteers are being recruited now. Volunteer opportunities may be horse related or involve office duties, special events, or facility services. HART Equine Therapy Center is housed at Royal T Ranch, east of Auburndale.
HART’s founder and director, Kim Sievers, said, “People frequently offer to donate horses to the program. We don’t need more horses at this point. We need volunteers and financial donations.”
For more information about the HART Haunted Horsey Hustle, contact Ashley at 715-773-1371 or CJ at 715-213-5157. To learn more about HART Equine Therapy Center, visit their website, www.hartetc.com, or call Kim Sievers at 715-305-5166.