3 Important Ways to Help Those with Special Needs


Monday Morning

We had 16 members and two guests on Monday back at The Retlaw Hotel for our regular meeting.  Joining us as guests were our speaker, Mary Narges from Free Spirit Riders, and Zeke Leeds, home on leave.  “Happy Bucks” were offered up by Dan Leeds for his grandsons being in town, along with their parents and Marlin Towne because Lois said he should be happy for 60 years of wedded bliss.  Gary Miller put together an InterClub to Tuesday’s Noon Club to hear about Envision FDL.  John Cooper and Harry Schneider announced a Walleye Weekend Warp Up meeting.  Glen Treml was the 50/50 Raffle drawing winner on Monday but he drew a non-winning Nine of Spades.  Next week’s drawing will have 35 cards with six pay cards and a pot of at least $210.

Mary Narges, Free SPIRT Riders

Free SPIRIT (Special People In Riding Therapy) Riders Inc. was founded in 1987 by Amelia Butzen and Mary Narges due to a recognized need for services for Developmentally Disabled individuals that could help increase the participants’ potential while doing something fun. Free SPIRIT Riders started providing services on a very limited basis in 1987, and the demand for their unique services grew annually and consistently. To meet the demand, in 2001 they completed construction of their own facility on 38 acres of land purchased and owned by Free SPIRIT Riders, Inc.

Free SPIRIT Riders’ helps those with special needs in 3 important ways: 1) promoting active therapy; 2) providing a valuable experience that is enjoyable though challenging; and 3) promoting the rehabilitation of individuals with physical, psychological and learning challenges through equine-facilitated activities. The major benefits include improvement of muscle tone, balance, posture, coordination, motor development and emotional and psychological health.

They are an accredited therapeutic riding center at the Premier Level through the Professional association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH, Int.)

Their  typical season starts in early May and runs to mid-November. They have classes in mid-afternoon and evenings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and add classes during the daytime on Wednesdays during the summer break from school.