Therapy horses appear as movie stars at Open Barn event

Staff Writer
Story City Herald
Therapy horses appear as movie stars at Open Barn event

—submitted by Kris Lager, CEO, One Heart Equestrian Therapy

Volunteers transformed the Strum Family Arena, host of One Heart Equestrian Therapy, for the first open barn event held recently, inviting the public to meet the therapy horses. Each stall was decorated with props and designs from movies and a different therapy horse represented the movie horse.

“We had groups, families, and individuals come to pose with the horses but the cutest were the girls dressed up as princesses from the movie ‘Frozen’,” remarked Kris Lager, Executive Director of One Heart Equestrian Therapy.

One Heart is a non-profit offering therapeutic services to people with disabilities using horses. Classes are held seasonally. The last six week session for 2014 will be held beginning in early September.

”We have worked over the years with the Sons of Norway Lodge in Story City to keep Norwegian Fjord Horses serving in our herd,” explained Lager. “With the Norwegian Fjord Horse having a role in the movie ‘Frozen’ we thought it would be fun to have people experience them in person.”

Roland-Story Girl Scout Troop 610 and the Boone County 4-H club Luther Livewires each selected stalls to decorate in a movie theme.

“We had outstanding contributions from the Sons of Norway, but also the Girl Scouts and 4-H,” Lager said. “We had so much fun with the decorating and creativity we decided not to limit the “stars” to the ‘Frozen’ horses but found starring roles for most of the therapy horses.”

The Fjord horses and the movie theme from “Frozen” served as the foundation of the idea which grew into decorations, which were not revealed until the day of the Open Barn.

“One Heart has a lovely, bay Quarter Horse who starred as Joey from ‘War Horse’ complete with plow, an ammunition case, the regimental pennant and other props representing the movie theme,” commented Lager.

Other therapy horses starred as Secretariat, Fred and George Weasley, from “Harry Potter”, Maximus from “Tangled”, a white coach horse from “Cinderella”, Justin Morgan Had a Horse, and Sprirt and Rain from the “Spirit” movie.

“The horses seemed to enjoy all the attention since they have been on summer break,” Lager said. “We really want to thank everyone who helped create and pull off this unique event and everyone who came to enjoy the horses.”

One Heart is a volunteer-based service. Volunteer training for the upcoming session of therapeutic riding will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4th at the One Heart arena at 59149 140th St. Roland, Iowa. Each client usually requires three volunteers during their class. One Heart currently serves riders from nine counties. More information is available at www.onehearthorses.org or on FaceBook.