Prancing Horse, Cameron, NC
Prancing Horse provides therapeutic horseback riding programs for special needs children, with a direct focus on those who come from under-privileged environments. This WorldLegacy Leadership project involved major renovations of the facility including updating the sensory riding trail.
Prancing Horse Revitalized
BY SUE SMITHSON: Equestrian Correspondent
Just a few months ago, Prancing Horse director Ronnie Meltzer thought the center for therapeutic riding might have to close. Fundraising was a constant struggle, the office roof was leaking, suitable equine donations were hard to come by, and many of their older horses were lame or otherwise unusable.
“It was bad, I didn’t know what we were going to do there for awhile,” Meltzer said.
For 20 years, Prancing Horse has provided therapeutic riding to hundreds of handicapped, impaired, or challenged children and adults in spring and fall 10-week sessions. The center is located between Vass and Cameron, just past Woodlake.
But thanks to local volunteer Ouida Newell of Carthage and the WorldLegacy, a Raleigh leadership-training center, Prancing Horse recently received a much-needed boost.
The old office trailer was replaced with a new one, used but in great shape. Newell said she started looking around for a new office trailer, and the first person she called had one sitting in the yard.
“We got it for half-price,” Newell said. As a Carthage antique dealer, Newell says she can al-ays “sniff out a bargain.”
The WorldLegacy leadership group, consisting of about 40 people from all over the country taking a three-month course, needed a community project.
They wanted a rural setting, and a project that would benefit children. Only manpower, not personal funds, could be spent, and they wanted to involve others.
The Prancing Horse sensory trail concept was conceived, birthed, and completed within one weekend. The trail winds through trees with chimes, spirals, pinwheels, elves, wooden bridges, and horse height mailboxes with surprises inside.
“It’s all about concepts,” Meltzer explained. “We go under, around and over. We count, we explore. This trail is so perfect.”
A new office and a new sensory trail goes a long way, but add three new instructors and a new horse donation, Lefreda Williams’ fox hunter Mousse, and Prancing Horse is on the rebound.
“We still have to stay on top of the fundraising efforts,” Meltzer said. “But the WorldLegacy group really gave us a shot in the arm.”