An invitation is open to all for Hood River Saddle Club’s “Meet a Horse” event on Saturday, Aug. 24.

Member volunteers will be there with their horses so “kids” of all ages, from one to 100, will have the opportunity to meet a horse (perhaps for the very first time!), pet, brush, even ride a horse and finger-paint a handprint on one as well.

The morning will start with registration in the clubhouse from 9:30 until 10:15 a.m. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Guests will then meet official greeters “Hankie,” a mini horse owned by Suzie Root, as well as pony “Gunner” and his owner Christine Arnholdt.

At 10:30, HRSC riders will be on horseback in the arena to demonstrate English (dressage/jumping) and Western riding disciplines, as well as trail riding.

The arena will be open at 11 for guests to see horses closeup, talk with owners and ask questions. Several horses, led by lead line by their owners, will be on hand for youngsters to sit on or ride.

Please note that youngsters and adults alike, who wish to be on a horse, must bring and wear a helmet (bike helmets are OK).

At 11:30, horsewomen Linda Pischon, Shirlene Bowen, and Kathy Maxwell from The Dalles will be in the arena with three Van Gilder ranch Arabian service horses to perform a routine, including some tricks! The trio most recently visited the Veterans’ Home and have also done a little movie work.

To conclude the day’s festivities, experienced horseman Alan Bennett from Snowden will be front and center with his team of beautiful Friesians performing a horse-and-carriage driving exhibition in the field east of the arena.

At the close of the event, little artists are welcome to place their handprint on a sweet and trusty steed. (Safe Crayola® washable finger paint will be used, which washes easily from skin and fabric and is latex and peanut/tree nut free.)

“This is the Saddle Club’s first Meet a Horse event,” said organizer John Laptad. “Our goal is to give those, who may have had little or no contact with horses before, an opportunity for some ‘up close and personal’ time with our beautiful four-footed friends. We hope for a very good turnout so similar events can become an annual HRSC offering within our communities.”

Meet a Horse is free of charge (tax-deductible donations are always welcomed).

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