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New Kingdom Trailriders horseriding therapy center extends reach

$10,000 grant brings new horses to New Kingdom
Published: Oct. 2, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT
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SHERRARD, (KWQC) - On an unpaved road in rural Sherrard, at the end of a long gravel driveway, is a place where people go to heal and grow. At New Kingdom Trailriders, the best way to do that, is on horseback.

Some find it’s a way to help them manage their mental health.

“I had no idea of how it was affecting me,” said Jodie Barton, executive director of the New Kingdom Trailriders. “The depression I felt, the anxiety I felt, and the fear, until I started working up here and was like ‘oh gosh, I feel like a new person.’”

The center’s riders range from those dealing with illness or disability, to mental health and trauma.

The organization relies on almost 200 volunteers that collectively put in thousands of hours a year to help provide treatment.

“I just enjoy being with the horses and they all have their own personalities,” said Payton Adamson, a volunteer and rider. “So just learning them, being with them, they’re gentle creatures. They’re gentle giants.”

Now, the New Kingdom Trailriders are the recipients of a $10,000 grant from the Rock Island-based life insurance organization Royal Neighbors of America, as part of their Nation of Neighbors program. The money will go towards adding four new horses to the current stable of 11, which means more options to find an emotional fit for the center’s clients.

“That person is able to relax and calm themselves,” said Barton. “And then they can begin to grow and become empowered through learning how to control and ride this amazing 12-hundred pound animal.”

The center will also be able to bring that experience to more people, giving them accomplishments like Barton’s, that they’ll remember for life.

“I’ll never forget the first day I trotted through the poles without holding onto the horn of the horse. It literally felt like I had a cape on my back and I could conquer the world.”

If you or someone you know think they would benefit from horseriding therapy, you can find more information at https://www.nktriders.org/. Barton also says the center has an “open door policy” and anyone interested can come down and see the barn for themselves.

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