EASI hosting second annual student horse show today
by Jennifer Cohron
Nov 17, 2012 | 1653 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Equines Assisting Special Individuals, a local therapeutic horseback riding program, has grown in both size and scope in the past year. Local residents can see the gains that have been made for themselves today during EASI’s second annual fall horse show.

“We hope the community will come out to celebrate and support these students as they show off what they know,” said executive director Melissa Searcy. “We have had so much success this year. We see it every day, and we want everyone else to see it too. We want Walker County to be really proud of us because we belong to the community.”

Sixteen students will be participating in the show, which will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the EASI facility on Summerville Road.

The show will begin with a dedication ceremony of the program’s independent saddle in honor of former board member Kay Wilson.

The barn will be open for tours, and information will also be available on the next big undertaking at EASI — a sensory integration trail.

The program needs to raise $55,000 in 2013 for the construction of a covered arena and an eight station sensory trail in the back pasture of EASI.

“After a while, our students get tired of going around and around in a square. We would like to learn a skill and then go out on the trail to practice the skill,” Searcy said.

Searcy said the activities along the trail could be tailored to help students with a wide range of developmental challenges.

She added that there is a need in the area for alternative therapy for sensory processing disorders because it brings such dramatic results.

“With some of our students, I might not be able to get them to do a single thing on two legs. Put them on four legs, and all of a sudden we’re intrigued and engaged. For some students, we have to get their body occupied on the horse first and then we can start working on cognition,” Searcy said.

Proceeds from the upcoming Christmas Tour of Homes, sponsored each year by the Pilot Club of Jasper, will benefit EASI.