This past Monday, I was allowed to be a part of an amazing event. Horses For Handicapped has been going on every year at the Mississippi State Fair grounds for a long time, but this was my first year to go.
Hannah and I got to the Fair grounds at 8:00 am Monday morning. The first handicapped children arrived at 8:30, and from then until 11:30 am, we walked around the arena, leading horses and talking to the children. Each child rode three circles around the arena before being taken off the horse. Walkers walked beside the horse, holding the child on. I was a "leader", meaning that I led a horse. It was a job with responsibility: if the horse acted up, I had to settle it down. Thankfully, the horse I led was very sweet. I also talked to the children who were riding. (Hannah is especially good at this and has volunteered for the last four or five years.)
The faces of the children as they rode, their laughs and smiles, and the conversations we had were by far my favorite parts of Monday. I knew that, by just coming out and leading a horse, I was doing something important.
Tomorrow is the last day of Horses For Handicapped and I encourage anyone who can to come and volunteer. Many children are expected to come tomorrow and your help would be appreciated. You don't have to have any experience with horses, but it is preferred that volunteers be at least fourteen.
Horses For Handicapped is an amazing opportunity whether you are a volunteer or a handicapped person. I hope to be able to volunteer for years to come.