Equestrian Zone's Banquet at The Barn

Have you ever wanted to attend an event at The Barn AND support an amazing organization all at the same time?! Now's your chance! It's not often that you can attend an event at The Barn (other than a wedding that you've been invited too, of course), so if you've always wanted to attend one of our events, come on out this Saturday! The 9th Annual Boots and Benefactors Banquet at The Barn will include a rider demo, a delicious chuckwagon dinner, a silent auction, the debut of The Rusty Spur Bar (you don't wanna miss it!), and a fun theme: Ponies and Palm Springs. (It's no secret that Palm Springs-themed events are fabulous!)

Banquet at The Barn is a charity event for a deserving non-profit organization whose mission we love. Equestrian Zone: Riding For A Reason provides therapeutic riding and hippotherapy to individuals with disabilities, and we're so excited to partner with them for a night of fun and fundraising! And you can read all about last year's event here

Equestrian Zone: Riding For A Reason is a non-profit organization in Russellville, Arkansas, whose mission is “both to improve the lives of persons with special needs/disabilities and to facilitate functional independence with increased self-confidence and improved skills of daily living through the use of safe and enjoyable therapeutic equine-assisted activities,” according to Jodi Kusturin, Equestrian Zone's Executive Director and Physical Therapist.

The organization serves both children and adults who have a wide range of physical, mental, cognitive and emotional disabilities. Anyone between the ages of 3 and 70 with a disability can apply to be a part of the program. Jodi said individuals with the following disabilities benefit from equine-assisted therapy: Amputees, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Blindness, Cerebral Palsy, Deafness/Hearing Impairment, Developmental Delay, Emotional Disabilities, Genetic Syndromes, Learning Disabilities, Multiple Sclerosis, Sensory Integration Disorders, Speech-Language Disorders, Spina Bifida, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury/Stroke, and Visual Impairment.

“Therapy using equine movement differs from traditional therapy in that it provides multidimensional movement that is variable, rhythmic, and repetitive,” Jodi said. “It is therapy allowing functional progress in neuro-muscular development to be achieved effectively, as backed by research from the medical community.”

Equestrian Zone provides two programs: Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding. Hippotherapy, which is derived from the Greek word for horse, is an “integrated treatment strategy lead by licensed health care professionals for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy utilizing equine movements,” Jodi said. Therapeutic Riding is a variety of equine activities that put an emphasis on riding skills development.

“Any therapy which improves a disabled person’s ability to perform activities of daily living is therapy which promotes greater independence and quality of life,” Jodi said. “Supporting our fundraiser for Equestrian Zone’s Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding programs will help our disabled children gain greater independence and self-confidence, which also will help their families. In addition, successful clients are more inclined to experience job integration with transition to adulthood.”

“A disabled person who can use the bathroom independently, walk without assistance, prepare his or her own meals, and communicate his or her needs, is a person who can dare to dream of an alternative future because of Equestrian Zone’s programs,” she said. “Equestrian Zone provides a treatment tool that has proven itself with many firsts:  an 8-year-old boy’s first words, a little girl’s first time writing her name, and walking for the very first time.  Equestrian Zone partners in miracles through our 4-legged gentle giants.  Equestrian Zone provides the client with an environment where possibility replaces limitation, where children and adults believe in themselves and learn the unbridled power of the words ‘I CAN.’”

We love Equestrian Zone’s mission, and we are so excited to host such a great fundraiser event for them! If you’re wondering what exactly the funds raised will go toward, Jodi said they’ll provide funding for 25% of the Equestrian Zone General Operating Budget. Any funds raised over 25% of their budget will go to the Arena Cover Project, which will fund a roof over the organization’s arena. 

As I mentioned, there will be so many great things to look forward to at this event! It will feature a gorgeous venue, a delicious chuckwagon dinner, a rider exhibition, dancing, a silent auction, and an unforgettable night of fun at The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch! Items for the silent auction include a Wyndham vacation package, Faces non-surgical face lift, a massage, six months of gourmet desserts from Simply Southern Desserts, a 5 x 8 Big Tex utility trailer, and so many other great items!

Tickets for the event are $40 prior to the event or $50 at the door. Tickets can be purchased on Equestrian Zone’s website or at Recovery Zone Pediatric Therapy. Put on your favorite glam Western wear and join us on April 1, from 5 to 9 pm, for a fabulous time that will benefit a worthy organization! For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page or Equestrian Zone’s website.