Horsemanship & Animal Care

Horsemanship & Animal Care


“Anything we can do to get children and horses together is a good thing. Horses are therapeutic, and they teach everything from motor skills to communication to self-confidence. Horses treat you the way they are treated. Learning English or Western riding techniques, or just being around the horses is fun and educational. Working with horses also teaches the children respect, discipline, trust, work ethic, and more.” 

- Michael Priour

The 4-H Club was added in our charter schools in 2007, with 25 students raising animals for the livestock show. The number of participants continues to grow annually.

Healing is enhanced through a nurturing role with animals. HCYR has an animal care history dating to its 1977 founding. In the beginning, kids raised cattle, horses, goats, sheep, pigs and chickens to supplement food, and to learn about caring for them. Donated ponies and camp horses, along with a few capable volunteers, started the Horse program. Michael Priour, who took the horse program over in 1992 and still runs it says: "“I have always believed that children and animals need each other. From household pets, to horses, cattle, and goats – we learn life’s lessons. It is amazing to see a child who weighs 100 pounds learn to control a horse that weighs over 1000 pounds, and then see the self confidence that carries over into his or her everyday struggles.”

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