The horse program is as old as HCYR, dating to the building of a barn and arena on the Ingram campus in 1980. Donated ponies and camp horses, along with a few capable volunteers, started the program. Michael Priour took it over in 1992 and still runs it.
Michael is professionally certified to work with horses and children in therapeutic settings. A stables and arena provide opportunity for children to learn horse care, and to participate in training them. Children also learn to groom, saddle, ride, and show horses. Riding for fun is what the children enjoy most, although a few move forward by learning English or Western showmanship, or take over the care of a horse as a 4H or personal project.
In 2014, one of our teens won Grand Champion with a BSRC horse at the Real County livestock show. The quality of the BSRC herd is extraordinary.
Trail rides on the 7,000 acre ranch take riders to many beautiful and majestic spots in the Frio Canyon, offering adventure and a perspective like no other.
Says Michael, “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.”