Horses boosting handicapped kids in Chippewa County

BY MARCY MISNER

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The 4H horseback riding program for handicapped kids in Chippewa County has a little giddy-up in its step this year, thanks to help from some volunteers and a new partnership with Sault Schools.

Ten students from Sault-area schools took part recently in a 4H horseback riding program for handicapped kids in Chippewa County. The program benefits kids with emotional, physical, and social challenges. School officials said it can help the students maintain skills over the summer months.

Norma Osborn has coordinated the PEP program for the past 40 years.

She said many people have never heard of the nationwide program.

PEP stands for 4H Proud Equestrian Program. She said it also referred to as a therapeutic riding program and a handicapped riding program.

PEP relies on help from volunteers, even down to the location of the program, at a large horse farm in the Sault that’s currently for sale. The owner boards his own horses elsewhere during the program and even barbecues lunch for the volunteers each day.

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