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HorseSense, a La Crosse County nonprofit that helps those with disabilities, seeks donations after $30k in lost income

HorseSense is seeking immediate community support through a holiday matching gift opportunity to help sustain its therapeutic horseback riding program.

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A La Crosse County nonprofit aimed at helping youth, adults and Veterans with disabilities is in hurting financially.

HorseSense has lost more than $30,000 in programmatic income this year because of COVID-19.

A donation campaign that will match up to $15,000 could really help the program, which has been around since 1989 and is dedicated to enriching lives through a partnership with horses.

The organization strives to improve the bodies, minds and spirits of riders by providing weekly therapeutic horseback riding lessons that:

  • Improve physical health
  • Provide a sense of accomplishment and control
  • Create a positive environment for learning
  • Emphasize the capabilities of each rider

One example of what the group provides is called the HorseSense for Heroes program. The nonprofit accommodates the special rehabilitative needs of military veterans, who are recovering from injuries sustained in service.

“We also welcome people who just want to come hang out with the horses, offer a little bit of stress relief, anxiety reduction to those who don’t have those diagnosed disabilities,” Hall said. “Basically, we’re a therapeutic center up on the top of 10 mile Hill and we’re happy to work with riders as young as four, up until you’re old enough to ride with medical permission.”

The Holiday Donation Match will help their small program offset 2021 losses and sustain the organization throughout the winter months ahead — when lessons are not possible because of inclement weather.

“The tricky part with what we do is, we really need a lot of hands-on support in order to make our program possible,” Executive Director Samantha Hall told Z93. “In 2020, we scaled back drastically and were only working with mostly able bodied riders. If you think about a quadriplegic rider, is a great example that I like to use, we need as many as four or five, maybe six people to get that individual on the horse and have them safely ride throughout a lesson.”

By way of their Holiday Donation Match campaign, all donations up to $15,000 will be doubled, thanks to the support of a generous donor.

If you’re able to support the programs at HorseSense, and want to double your impact with the Holiday Match program, donations can be made by clicking here.

Hall added, “We appreciate any gifts, large or small, they do truly make a huge difference.”

Tracy has worked at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 2004. She is half of the Z93 Morning Buzz with Brittany and Ballzer and coordinates Z93's charity, Zcare. She writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse and announces for the Mississippi Valley Mayhem Roller Derby team.

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