Rides set to benefit Stable Connections
By LARRY KERSHNER
DAKOTA CITY – Horse-drawn holiday sleigh rides are being offered in Dakota City to view Christmas lights around this Humboldt County community.
The event, set from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 29, are a fund raiser for the non-profit Stable Connections, based in Fort Dodge, which uses equine-assisted learning exercises and equine-assisted psychotherapy for individuals and groups..
Tickets for $12 are being sold for each hour of the ride. The first ride will begin at 5 p.m. and the last ride will go at 9 p.m. Each ride is roughly 30 minutes long and start at Dream Carriage Rides in Dakota City. Rides will start at the top of Main Street in Dakota City.
“Tickets for the seven o’clock ride are going fast,” said Tanya Moffit. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The event is planned for a maximum of 35 people per hour.
The event is being held in conjunction with Jim Kellner of Dream Carriage Rides. Half of the proceeds will go to Stable Connections to provide services to clients, Moffit said.
There will be hot chocolate and hot cider served after each ride.
Kellner said he routinely provides rides throughout the holiday season, but Nov. 29 is reserved for the Stable Connections event.
To purchase tickets contact Kris Ackerman at (515) 408-6156, or Moffit at (515) 230-4020.
Stable Connections is an outreach ministry for Cana, which described itself as “an organic mission station … that will reach out to people in need through mentoring, Bible studies, workshops, small concerts, and at some time, a worship experience.” It was planted in Fort Dodge by the Reformed Church of America.
Equine-assisted therapy is designed to help people come in contact with who they are, based on how they work with the horses. This is not about horsemanship or teaching the horses anything, members said.
Ackerman, a Cana member, who owns the horses the program uses said, “We believe in miracles and believe people experience miracles with horses.
“The horse doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done.”
Moffit said being with horses allows people to forget they’re in therapy. “It breaks the pattern of what you’re used to,” she said. “If you’ve been in therapy you know what you’re trying to do. But out there, you just work with the horse.”
There’s no judgmentalism in the horse, Moffit said, “There’s nothing conditional about it. It lets people be (and see) what happens out there.”
“We hope (the therapy) just lets people get down to the basics and discover who they really are.
“Horses are always just who they are and always respond how they respond. They have no traditional expectations that people get wrapped up in.
“Besides, horses by themselves are therapy.”
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