Horse Show at SDC
The Annual Horse Show for Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) residents is being held on Saturday, May 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and on Tuesday, June 2, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the outdoor equestrian arena at the facility. There are approximately 70 people from the center who will be participating at the Equestrian Sporting event. All the riders participating in the event win ribbons, with their families and friends cheering them on. The individuals are judged on how they mount the horse as well as equitation (the practice of riding a horse). However, the judge does take into consideration the developmental limitations of each rider.
SDCís Equestrian Program has been in existence since the early 1980s. The Equestrian Program Coordinator, Nancy Sessi-Tallent has provided the individuals who reside here with skills that increase the studentís confidence and pride, as well as instilling a sense of accomplishment. Nancy is also the Coordinator of the Annual Horse Show. The program teaches discipline, respect for oneself, kindness towards animals and consideration for others. Horsemanship frees the student to feel independent and provides a common ground for interpersonal relationships.
The program offers riding on Tuesday afternoons, Friday mornings and Saturday mornings year round. SDC employees referred to as riding instructors, as well as volunteers, support the program. The riding instructors provide assistance with mounting, riding, exercising and dismounting. Students in the program also learn skills in horse care, such as grooming and feeding. All horses have been specially trained to be familiar with physical or emotional limitations, wheelchairs, special mounting ramps and the ability to be mounted from either side. Only horses thoroughly tested for reliability are used for recreational riding.
For information about volunteering at the Annual Horse Show or in the Equestrian Program or other volunteer opportunities at Sonoma Developmental Center, please contact the volunteer office at (707) 938-6213.