Saddle Pals: Party with pumpkins and ponies |

Saddle Pals: Party with pumpkins and ponies

Saddle Pals, a therapeutic riding program in southern Nevada County, is holding its second annual Pumpkins and Ponies Play Day.

It’s a way for families to get to know the ranch that makes a difference in the lives of disabled children and adults, started by United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Sacramento.

Seeing the horses’ effect “is one of the most heartwarming, powerful transitions you can imagine,” said Grass Valley program director Jane de’Zell. “Since 1996, we’ve worked with over 600 students from this area, aged from 4 to 65.

“We help many trade their wheelchairs for ponies and horses. The result is improved coordination, balance, confidence and communication skills,” de’Zell said. “Down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy are some of the challenges our students face.”

Today’s play day includes pirates, gypsies, cowboys, fairy princesses, frogs and ghouls – students and horses will be dressed in costumes.

Entry and parking are free, and every child in costume wins a prize. The cost to enter the costume contest is $5.

Events will include a live auction with the works of Saddle Pals’ students, a silent auction including works of local artists, horse demonstrations, music by the Fruit Jar Pickers, a barbecue and raffle prizes.

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