PALM DESERT, CA- The Pegasus Riding Academy for the Handicapped, one of the two oldest charities here in the Coachella Valley, was honored at the Pegasus Ranch last month with a $7,000 grant from the Vons Foundation.
For more than 25 years, Pegasus has played a dual role by rescuing and adopting horses and retraining them to carry the many disabled and often multi-handicapped young people who come to Pegasus for full-body, range of motion exercise on horseback.
“All of our riders make some progress after riding at Pegasus, and they are all very proud of the fact they can ride a horse. We never look at the disability of child, but at their ability,” said Pegasus Founder and President Lori Sarner.
Pegasus serves more than 180 disabled children and adults, who arrive by bus at no cost, from all of the Special Needs classes throughout the Valley, which includes Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation; Desert Arc; the Braille Institute; the Autism Foundation and many others. Disabled adults can attend classes on Saturdays, when private riding is available. Fourteen therapy horses and ponies are ready to patiently carry their riders each week, from Wednesday through Saturdays, from 8:30 am to 11:30 am, in 30- minute sessions. The Pegasus Riding Academy ranch is at 35-450-B Pegasus Court, in Palm Desert, next to Xavier School on Chase School Road.
A division of Safeway/Vons Markets, the Vons Foundation takes pride in supporting their local stores and communities, and has donated a grant to support the total therapy costs of disabled students from the Desert Sands Unified School District, especially those schools located in Palm Desert and La Quinta, West of Cook St.