MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) - Its name is quite a mouthful, the Montgomery Area Non-Traditional Equestrians. Most folks know it as MANE, and its main job is providing a unique therapy for people with special needs.
"We are a therapeutic riding program," said MANE instructor Abby Houchin. "We cater to children, adults, and veterans who have special needs."
They have more than a dozen specially trained horses.
"Some of our students who come here have never seen a horse or touched a horse. Suddenly they are on the back of the horse telling it where to go."
The program will start back up in September and they have a record number of people signed up.
"We need so much volunteer help this semester. You don't need any experience whatsoever. We'll teach you everything you need to know."
Current volunteers say get as much out of this program as the riders.
"I've been a volunteer for four years," said Brittany De Queiroz. "I've always been a horse person and also had a passion for working with children with disabilities."
"I was interested in being active once I retired," said William Martin. "I wanted to do something that involved children and physical activity. This meets both of those standards."
They need three volunteers every time someone rides, so there are plenty of opportunities to help.
"It doesn't have to be an all-day deal," said Martin. "It can be for just a few hours. Just be willing to put on your jersey and get in the game to help out this great program."
There are two upcoming volunteer training sessions if you'd like to attend and see where you can fit it.
- Thursday, August 24th at 11:30 a.m.
- Thursday, September 7th at 4 p.m.