In 1999, Sam Waldman, a local businessman, founded Kids & Horses - turning his own Double W Ranch in Minden into a center for therapeutic riding. Sam was a very successful and hardworking businessman, but more importantly, he cared about people. As an avid horseman, he saw the benefits of horseback riding for handicapped children.
In his own words, “What’s more enjoyable than seeing kids and a horse? When you look in the faces of those children who are on top of the horses, they are smiling.” Kids & Horses has been putting smiles on the faces of its riders since the beginning. And their services don’t just make kids smile, they help them build confidence, focus, strength, and all different types of skills.
Right now, Kids & Horses offers adaptive riding, hippotherapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. The professional therapists use half an hour in the gym – providing traditional treatment – and then half an hour on the horse. All the instructors are PATH Intl. certified and during the sessions, volunteers work alongside participants and therapists, helping with the horses and providing encouragement and support.
The horses at Kids & Horses are all very special. Kids & Horses is an organization that is very involved in the community, and so are the horses. All the horses are owned by individuals in the community and leased to the organization. Although they come from different backgrounds, they all work well with people and love their job – and especially enjoy all the love and attention the kids give them. Right now, Kids & Horses is home to Risa, a well-trained Dutch Warmblood, Remington, a sweet Appaloosa, Whiskey, a student favorite, and many other beautiful horses.
However, the most beautiful thing to see at Kids & Horses is the progress the kids make. Ryanna Blake, a Nevada native and staff member, says “We have had students who were terrified to even go near a horse but now find that sitting in the saddle is one of the happiest places on earth.”
Students that, at the beginning, were scared to death to ride a horse, after going through the lessons, learn to ride independently and find the joy that comes from being atop a horse. Ryanna continues, “Over our twenty years of operating, we have had hundreds of students walk through our doors and make leaps and bound of progress. There is no greater reward than to see not only their riding skills improve but also their communication, coordination, balance, focus, and so much more.”
Visit the website below to learn more about Kids & Horses and sign up for their newsletter to stay updated about future events and news.
How to Contact This Farm:
2869 Esaw Street
Minden, NV 89423