FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Ride for the Disabled, a non-profit that provides horseback riding programs for adults and children with disabilities, is on the trail for a new ride coordinator. 

The ride coordinator is a “key person,” according to the organization’s president Justine Harder. The position requires a specific set of skills and qualities and allows the program to run at its best.

“Number one, they have to be very comfortable around horses,” she said. “And be able to look after volunteers, and pair volunteers and horses with riders.” 

Someone who can help others feel comfortable, secure, and safe while riding would be a shoo-in for this position.

The riding program runs weekly from October to April and mixes traditional horsemanship skills with physical therapy concepts designed to improve the strength, balance, and self-esteem of people with a wide variety of disabilities. 

The rides have a “huge” impact on the lives of people with disabilities, regardless of limitation or age, according to Harder. The program has adaptive equipment that allows wheelchair users to ride, as well.

“Just being around the horses—horses are a great sense of wellbeing,” she said. “There’s so much one can learn and work with being around the horses.” 

The ride coordinator is also responsible for the care and selection of horses used in the program during the season. They should be available the month before the program begins to work with horse owners to select the animals best suited for the season.

The application will be open until a candidate has been found to fill it. Interested applicants are invited to contact Lana Neitz at lana.neitz@hotmail.com

The NPRD will also begin looking for volunteers to lead horses, walk alongside riders, and help set up and take down the arena for the season in September.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for EnergeticCity.ca who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.