Pegasus Riding Academy Seeks Roof for Outdoor Arena

Annual Easter Brunch focuses funding year round facility



Ryan Gunnerson is a loyal participant at the Pegasus Riding Academy, which is raising money to build a roof to cover their facility.

Photos Courtesy of Pegasus Riding Academy

 

Ryan Gunnerson has undergone 20 surgeries in his young life after being born with Spina Bifida and two holes in his heart.

The challenges faced by Ryan and his family, however, has not lessened their desire to have him experience life like everybody else.

Ryan is passionate about horses and has decided he wants to be a cowboy. According to Carole Gunnerson, Ryan’s grandmother, “He loves knowing that he can come out to ride one of the Pegasus therapy horses, and feel like everybody else who has climbed aboard a horse. Pegasus Ranch has given him direction for his life."

Pegasus Riding Academy offers therapeutic horseback riding, at no cost, to mentally disabled and physically impaired adults and children. Many doctors often recommend equine therapy and interaction to:

  • Help increase full body range of motion.
  • Increase confidence as well as give a sense of pride and accomplishment.
  • Promote psychological and emotional benefits derived from bonding with these gentle giants.

Pegasus Riding Academy staff and volunteers have been serving special needs riders in the Coachella Valley since 1986, and have grown to offer therapeutic horse riding programs to more than 175 active riders each week. The dozen horses in the academy are available to take part in programs serving autistic children, the blind, severely handicapped adults and children, and stroke victims.

Pegasus Riding Academy will host its 19th annual Easter Brunch April 20 at Bellatrix restaurant at the Classic Club in Palm Desert. Proceeds will benefit Pegasus programs and will feature a silent auction, traditional "Horse Adoption," outstanding Raffle Bunny Bags; and complimentary parking.

“Raising the Roof”

In addition to fundraising to assist in program development the past several years, Pegasus has been trying to channel funds for a weatherproof roof over their open arena. The hours that school age children can utilize the facility is limited due to current school calendars and scorching temperatures that rise in late spring and summer months.

Just when a student begins to recognize improvement, their lessons must be placed on hold, and this can have negative impact on muscle strength as well as morale.
“Having a roof on the riding ring is a top priority,” adds Carole Gunnerson. “Kids need year round therapy, not just a short season. For some kids, it may be the only fun thing they do.”

Domino Effect

  • A roof will allow for shade for the horses and assist in deterring heat stress, which is a common equine ailment when exposed to continual extreme heat.
  • More horses that can be rescued and adopted will lead to more horses to assist riders.
  • Pegasus will be able to work beyond the traditional school calendar year.
  • They will be able to bus more special needs children from the three Coachella Valley Unified School Districts and increase their ability to accommodate more riders.

For kids like Ryan, Pegasus Riding Academy allows them to explore a new recreation, instill passion and provide a sense of “normalcy” to their lives. A roof over their heads will not block their sunshine, but continue to expand their horizons.

For more information, visit www.pegasusridingacademy.org or call Kurt Campbell at 760-408-9495 and ask about the "Raising the Roof" campaign.

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Mackenzie Phillips Shares Her Battles With Substance Abuse to Help Others

Mackenzie Phillips, who starred in the 1970s sitcom 'One Day at a Time, has a thing or two to say about addiction and recovery, after her very public battle with drugs and alcohol.

Caroldean Ross Takes Her Fight Public Against Cancer

Caroldean Ross has witnessed the affects of cancer, in many of its forms, and the deep emotional and physical impact on family and friends has triggered her to fight.

Suzanne Westenhoefer Takes a Dare, Makes'em Laugh

Encouraged to share her wit during an open mic call, comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer took the dare, won a contest with her hilarious personal true stories and never looked back.

Desert AIDS Project Benefit Hits Home for Wesley Eure

'Under & Out 3' presented by Chelsea Lane Bodywear Oct. 5 to benefit Desert AIDS Project features co-emcee Wesley Eure, who hid his homosexuality before coming out.

5 Tips to Ensure a Great Hotel Experience...From a Hotelier

Five handy tips to ensure a pleasurable hotel experience in the Greater Palm Springs area from our hotel blogger, Nicole Bowen, who has worked in the industry for more than a decade.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.