'Hugs for Horses' brings hope and healing to those with special - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

'Hugs for Horses' brings hope and healing to those with special needs

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - For more than 30 years, “Hugs for Horses” has had a unique way of bringing hope and healing to people with special needs in the Georgetown Community, and on Sunday, the group helped nearly 50 people take four steps further.

"They've overcome challenges and can ride horses, either independently or semi-independently, and hugs offers them an opportunity to do something for themselves,” said Elizabeth Krauss, Executive Director for the Georgetown Board of Disabilities and Special Needs.

This collaborative effort through “Hugs,” the Georgetown County Parks and Recreation, and a host of private donors, was free of charge to the participants, and still remains true to its core values established more than three decades ago.

"It was a dream child of Mrs. Rona Jacobs,” Krauss said. “She had a brother who had a disability who rode, and it was her dream to continue that effort for other kids. She started it small, and now we have more riders than we've ever had."

On Sunday, there were nearly 50 participants who have undergone extensive training and lessons just to get to this point, but often it's the parents who get the most enjoyment out of the experience.

Lizzy Jarnagan is just one example of a child whose life has been changed through Hugs for Horses. Riding high atop a horse, Lizzy beamed and waved “Hi” to her dad when a volunteer told her how pretty she looked.

"To overcome some of the challenges that these kids here today, the parents that are seeing this watch their kids accomplish and move up and see things that they never thought would happen,” Krauss said.

To learn more about Hugs for Horses, head to: http://www.hugsforhorses.org/

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