Riding Equines for the Disabled, or RED, Arena, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities through horse riding therapy, will soon open a second location in San Marcos.
Founded in 2008 with a handful of volunteers, one horse and six children receiving physical therapy on horseback, the program has since grown to over 150 children and adults with disabilities receiving therapy each week through a variety of unique equine programs.
RED Arena will take over the location of another therapeutic horse riding center called Always Wanted A Riding Experience, or AWARE, in San Marcos, which began in 1986.
“We outgrew our Dripping Springs location and have been searching for alternative ways to serve more of the community when the opportunity to take over AWARE came up,” Jennifer Young, executive director and founder of RED Arena 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.”
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 reading programs, veterans programs and a job training program for adults with disabilities to gain hands-on experience and training in the horse industry.
“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,” Missy Knebel, president of the board of directors of RED Arena 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 has raised $225,000 to begin facility improvement for ADA access, arena footing and horse stalls at the upcoming San Marcos location. McCoy's Building Supply also donated all of the lumber to RED Arena to remodel the facility.
“Our goal is to have the renovations complete by September 2018 so that we can begin fall sessions,” Young said. “We’ve had such great success with our program thanks in large part to our amazing volunteers. We have over 250 volunteers annually at our Dipping Springs location and are looking forward to connecting with new volunteers in [the San Marcos] area.”
1708 Centerpoint Road, San Marcos
1601 Bell Springs Road, Dripping Springs