Brittney Lofthouse – Staff Writer
For the last 10 years, Macon TRACS has served local individuals with disabilities through equine-assisted activities. The nonprofit provides therapy opportunities in the community for individuals that suffer from cerebral palsy, autism, ADD, ADHD, Down Syndrome, developmental delay/ cognitive delay, learning disabilities, PTSD, mental retardation, deafness, visual impairment, stroke, brain injuries, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis.
Macon TRACs celebrated its 10th anniversary during Saturday night’s annual Blue Jean Ball fundraiser held at the Macon County fairgrounds. Barbecue and all the fixings, music, dancing, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and a cake walk were all part of the celebration, raising more than $5,000 for the nonprofit.
“Saturday night was just wonderful,” said Jan McGee, who serves on the Board of Directors and as an instructor with Macon TRACs. “We had current students, past students, instructors, and the community all together to celebrate what Macon TRACs has been able to do over the last 10 years and it was truly a blessing.”
McGee said the annual Blue Jean Ball is the only fundraiser the nonprofit holds each year to fund the program’s operational expenses. This year, the event raised $5,523, which will cover the cost of the group’s insurance, due each January, as well as help buy new equipment such as helmets and saddles, or whatever is needed for the 2018 year.
Physically, riding a horse helps children with muscular disabilities such as cerebral palsy become stronger without doing anything that feels like work. And often, being with the horses is therapeutic for children with mental or emotional disabilities.
“The funds raised this weekend will help keep us going for another year,” said McGee. “It is truly humbling to see the community come together to support our local nonprofits. The support that different organizations and businesses give each other here in Macon County is truly an amazing thing to see.”
About Equine Therapy
Equine Therapy (also referred to as Horse Therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy) is a form of experiential therapy that involves interactions between patients and horses.
Equine Therapy involves activities (such as grooming, feeding, haltering and leading a horse) that are supervised by a mental health professional, often with the support of a horse professional.
Both during the activity and after the patient has finished working with the horse, the equine therapist can observe and interact with the patient in order to identify behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions.
One goal of equine therapy is to help the patient develop needed skills and attributes, such as accountability, responsibility, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and self-control. Equine therapy also provides an innovative milieu in which the therapist and the patient can identify and address a range of emotional and behavioral challenges.
For more information about Macon TRACs, visit http://www.macontracs.org.