RED Arena, a nonprofit therapeutic horse riding center, started renovating their new San Marcos location recently in hopes of being open and operational by September. Dripping Springs Young Men's Service League helped with demolition. From left to right are Jason Fitzpatrick, Susan Fitzpatrick, Josh Malcom, Stephanie Malcom, Keith Bottles, Karlyn Bottles and Bryce Fitzpatrick. Photos courtesy of RED Arena
RED Arena to open San Marcos location
RED (Riding Equines for the Disabled) Arena is expanding their frontier to San Marcos.
RED Arena was founded in Dripping Springs in 2008. With a handful of volunteers, one horse and six children receiving physical therapy on horseback – also known as hippotherapy – the program grew to serving over 150 children and adults with disabilities each week through a variety of unique equine programs.
“We out grew our Dripping Springs location and have been searching for alternative ways to serve more of the community when the opportunity to take over AWARE (Always Wanted A riding Experience) came up,” Physical Therapist, Executive Director and founder of RED Arena Jennifer Young said. “AWARE was struggling financially and rather than shut down they decided to ensure therapeutic riding services would continue by donating their facility to RED Arena."
“We are so excited to receive this generous donation from AWARE and look forward to bringing our high-quality services to the San Marcos, New Braunfels, Buda and Kyle areas,” President of the Board of Directors of RED ArenaMissy Knebel said. “Not only will this allow us to expand to a second location, but the covered arena will allow us to offer more programs, horse camps and educational clinics year round.”
RED Arena Barn Manager Tracy Miller shows the before of the building that will be turned into the new San Marcos location at 1708 Centerpoint Rd.
With significant donations from the Allison and McCoy families, RED Arena raised $225,000 to begin facility improvement for ADA access, arena footing and horse stalls.
“Our goal is to have the renovations complete by September 2018 so we can begin fall sessions,” Young said, “and so far we are making great progress.”
RED Arena’s weekly fall schedule for the San Marcos location will start with Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The fall programs will include therapeutic riding lessons, and equine assisted physical and occupational therapy sessions. RED Arena will add their other programs including the RED-y to read, job training, sibling support, horse camps and mental health services in the late fall or early spring.
“We’ve had such great success with our program thanks in large part to our amazing volunteers” Young said. “We have over 250 volunteers annually at our Dipping Springs location and are looking forward to connecting with new volunteers in this area.”
Volunteer Zach Young takes down walls to expand the restrooms.
Volunteers are needed for the welcome desk, barn support, side walking, and horse handling. Horse experience is not necessary and training is provided. New volunteer trainings will begin in mid-August. Volunteers must complete the online form at www.redarena.org to be contacted for the next training session.
RED Arena is a 501c3, nonprofit corporation dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities through horses. RED Arena provides a variety of services such as equine-assisted therapy and activities to people with disabilities, sibling and family support programs and opportunities for gaining social, recreational and life skills. RED Arena also offers a job training program for adults with disabilities to gain hands on experience and training in the horse industry, RED-Y to Read programs and Veterans programs.
For more information about services or volunteering visit the website at www.redarena.org and click on programs or support tabs. You can also follow RED Arena on Facebook at REDarenaTX.