Prairie Post (West Edition)

LTRA’s Ride for Dreams raises funds for equine therapy

- BY JUSTIN SEWARD

The Lethbridge Therapeuti­c Riding Associatio­n saw 25 riders hit the trails at Pavan Park for the 39th annual Joanne Perlich Ride for Dreams on Sept. 17.

The focus of the ride is trail riding with peers and acts as a fundraiser for the what the LTRA does as far as work goes.

“The Perlich’s connection with LTRA runs deep,” said Jason Schriner, LTRA executive director.

“Joanne was one of the founders of LTRA over 45 years ago. This has been going on as one of the principle fundraiser­s for our organizati­on to support the work that we do on the farm and in the community – providing adaptive riding for children and adults with complicate­d diagnosis and for them to experience the benefits of equine therapy.”

The funds raised for the day was $37,000 and is collected through rider’s pledges.

“So that’s tremendous,” he said.

“Each individual rider commits to collecting pledges. So they would go to their family and community connection­s and gather pledges for the ride and then we have prizes for those who’ve have raised the most.”

Schriner thought it was important to keep the ride going because southern Albertans and their connection to horses runs deep and is important in keeping those traditions alive.

“So for young people and families to stay connected and their relationsh­ip to the land, to horses, it’s important to keep that tradition alive and to celebrate it,” said Schriner.

“This is a celebratio­n of a western way of living as well as a celebratio­n of our associatio­n and what we have to offer.”

Jeanne White (Perlich) is the daughter of Joanne and has been in the ride for the last 12 to 15 years.

“It means a lot,” said White.

“This year is especially special to me. We have seven family members joining this year and we are down to her great great grand nieces and nephews riding on this ride and I think she’d be really tickled and proud that they’re not only horse lovers and horse riders, but they want to fundraise and support the organizati­on.”

White said the LTRA keep adding to the services provided to clients with equine wellness and adaptive riding and it is a non-profit.

“So it’s really important to keep the program going and that requires a lot of money to take the proper care of the horses and the facility and make it all work,” she said.

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