‘A Horse’s Friend’: Exposes inner city youth to new opportunities
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A Horse’s Friend in Rush has a program designed to give urban kids an opportunity to get out of the city on a regular basis and experience the world of horses.
The program has been going on for 19 years. You can learn more A Horse’s Friend here.
Founder and program director Matthew Doward said A Horse’s Friend originally started out as a program for just his kids. He decided to extend it out to students in the inner city to give them a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Samira Dibiase is just one of many kids who have had the opportunity to not only interact with the horses in the program, but to be assigned to her own horse. It’s something founder Doward said is the goal once students are comfortable.
“Most of the kids that come out here, if they’re here long-term, they take ownership of a horse. So the kids that are in their stalls right now actually are assigned a horse right now,” says Doward.
He said when starting the program, he never intended for it have such a big impact on these kids.
“It’s super amazing,” he says. “I know what it did for me — just to be given the opportunity to be around something that’s so powerful and so amazing. And I tell the kids that those that have cats and dogs; obviously you can love them, but this animal you can ride.”
For little Samira, she loves the idea of being able to help others. “It makes me feel happy to teach kids what I have learned,” she said.