PAWNEE ROCK — Nearly 60 lil’ cowpokes braved 45 mile-per-hour wind gusts on June 9 for the joy of experiencing ranch life. Rosewood Services Inc. held “Kids Day at the Ranch” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Family members joined the children, with more than 100 people participating in the second-annual event, which took place at Rosewood Ranch, located north of Pawnee Rock.
“Kids Day” is offered by Rosewood to children with developmental disabilities who participate in Rosewood Ranch’s equestrian and therapeutic riding program. The Rosewood Ranch provides free therapeutic riding services to more than 40 children on a weekly basis. On “Kids Day” the riders’ siblings had the opportunity to participate in the day’s events, along with children of Rosewood employees.
“We really try to make this a fun time for all who attend,” explained Ranch manager Eric Hammond, who spent much of the day driving a team of horses and giving wagon rides around the Ranch to children and adults alike. “Kids with disabilities have the chance to come and ride horses throughout the year, but this day gives their siblings a chance to ride because they come and watch all year long and never get to experience the riding.”
Besides wagon rides, children participated in trail-pattern horse riding, decorated their own cookies, had their faces painted and blew bubbles from a small children’s pool filled with soapy water. Upon entering the indoor riding arena, children were awarded neckerchiefs and T-shirts, which they personalized by placing their painted handprint above the wording on the back of the shirt. Below their handprints, the shirt text read, “I left my mark at the Rosewood Ranch on Kids Day.”
While “Kids Day” was created purely as a day of fun at the Ranch, it provides additional benefits by bringing children with disabilities and their respective families together in a casual and social environment.
“It gives Logan and our family a chance to interact more with other children,” Terry Gregg said. “Sometimes it seems like people with special needs have a hard time interacting and this gives them the opportunity to do that.”