Giving New Opportunities to Man & Beast
When Monte and Nancy Mowry along with friends first decided to start a horse riding program in December of 2014 for handicapped individuals in the Owatonna, MN/Steele County area they looked for assistance in many places. The program has since taken shape and is called “Ride for the Brand – Americans with Disabilities” and they held their first of four events in July of 2015. One key area was finding and acquiring the right horses to use with these special needs individuals. Monte was familiar with a “horse relocation” program in operation out of Cannon Falls, MN started by Ryon Simon which is called “Ryon’s Rescue Pen” that began its operations in June 2015. In talking with Jen, Operations Mgr for the program Monte soon discovered that the rescue gets many horses that could easily qualified and filled the needs for the program and with the help of Jen and Ryon he purchased several horses from them. With the help of these animals and horses that were brought in from other volunteers involved with the “Ride for the Brand” program they were able to give over 30 individuals from Steele County area the opportunity to experience being around and riding on one of God’s greatest creations; “the horse”.
Monte said that working with the staff at “Ryon’s Rescue Pen” was great and that their assistance has aided immensely in the success of the “Ride for the Brand” program. He also said that there are many “unwanted animals” that are sent to the rescue that deserve the opportunity to have another chance to give friendship and enjoyment to others. Monte commented, “When I walk through the pens here at the rescue I wish that I had the need for more of these beautiful horses in our program”. Monte highly recommends that anyone looking for a horse to put to “work” or maybe just for a “pasture buddy” for something they may already have don’t be afraid to give Ryon’s Rescue Pen a call at 651-341-8208 or click here to visit their Facebook page. Jen said that since its conception last June, Ryon’s Rescue Pen has relocated over 800 horses and they expect to see an increase in participation for the rescue program for 2016.
The “Ride for the Brand – Americans with Disabilities” program will kick off their second year of events in July 2016 at Mowry’s Lazy Meadows just outside of Owatonna, MN. Like in 2015 they will be holding four evening programs allowing participants to ride both horseback as well as in horse drawn wagons. On the last night’s event, which is called the “Summer Roundup”, the participants and their families along with volunteers and the program sponsors will enjoy an evening of entertainment, an awards ceremony, and at no-charge to anyone a “cowboy cookout”. All of the events are at no cost and funding for the program is by “free will” offering from the participants or donations from the public. Monte said, “We are hoping to increase our number to 50 participants for the upcoming 2016 program and we will be starting our registration process in the near future.”