Knights donate to T.R.O.T.

Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Knights of Columbus recently presented a check for $700 to Melissa Le Roy, who was filling in for T.R.O.T. program co-coordinator Norm Powers.

The program celebrated its seventh anniversary this past spring and served 19 riders from Polk, Rutherford and Henderson counties in North Carolina and Greenville and Spartanburgh counties in South Carolina.

The newly added sensory trail, a series of activites outside of the riding arena, is designed to stimulate visual, tactile and auditory perceptions for those riders facing such challenges.

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The trail consists of the Post Office, a series of color-coded mailboxes into which riders deliver similarly color-coded mail, a mounted board with holes in a variety of shapes and colors, into which riders must insert a matching block, and the Beach, a 16-foot long box filled with sand, which alters the horses gait while also providing the auditory stimulation of hooves crunching through the footings.

In the fall session, a pole maze will be added, which is a series of colored poles arranged such that riders must negotiate a colored keyed pattern through them.

Future projects include funding and constructing a sheltered riding arena, allowing the program to operate regardless of weather conditions. Information on a site, costs and materials is being gathered.

T.R.O.T. is recognized as a Premier Accredited Center by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, and is operated almost entirely with trained volunteer labor. The horses used are privately owned and undergo evaluation and training for working with special needs riders. T.R.O.T. derives its operating costs from lesson fees, grant support and private donations.

The Knights of Columbus and their LAMB (Least Among My Brethren) fundraiser 2009, along with the donations from the public, make it possible to support this program.