Horse show combines showmanship and SMILES
ELKHORN For one of the largest, most competitive open horse shows around, join SMILES on July 21 and 22 for its 28th annual Open Benefit Horse Show from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Walworth County Fairgrounds in Elkhorn.
The performance show will be held at 8 a.m. in the indoor arena both days, and features a variety of events.
SMILES, which stands for Special Methods in Learning Equine Skills, is a center for equine-assisted activities and therapies located in Darien. It was established in 1985 and is a nonprofit organization.
According to its mission, SMILES transcends traditional therapeutic methods by offering individuals of all ages with special needs the joy of participating in an equine-assisted program that provides social, emotional, physical and personal rewards.
The SMILES website explains that in the therapeutic riding program, lesson plans are developed for each rider that help them not only develop specific riding skills, but other life skills as well.
A horse's three-dimensional gait gives riders the feeling and mental images of walking while receiving social and emotional benefits as well. Riders improve their self-esteem and independence as they interact with their peers, volunteers and instructors.
For more information see www.smilestherapeuticriding.org