BALTIMORE — Driving down West Fayette Street you may have noticed something unusual.
A pop up horse training grounds has taken over a vacant green space.
“Before we ever track up the horse, we have to brush them off because other people ride them,” said 10-year-old Kameron Gross. “So we have to brush them off from all the dirt that gets on them.”
Before the kids can ride they are learning what it takes to get the horse ready to ride.
“We are learning more than you think,” said 12-year-old Marcus Johnson. “We are learning how to take the saddle on and off the horse. How to groom it, groom their hooves. We’re learning how to walk, how to trot.”
The horses come from City Ranch Inc.
Ahesahmahk Dahn started City Ranch in 2009 to bring horses back to the community.
“When you accomplish things in the neighborhood there is a spirit that comes back to you each time you come back to the neighborhood,” Dahn said.
The free community program brings positivity to one of the harder hit parts of the city.
“Mental health issues, crime issues, unemployment and the list goes on and on,” Dahn said. “This community needs a boost in the arm like all of us need a boost in the arm from time to time.”
The program is free through a partnership with Under Armour.
There are two groups with 24 kids and 12 horses.
It starts with a daily training for two weeks and then weekly sessions riding.
“I grew up riding horses so I know first hand what it can do for a kids confidence and just learning a new skill,” said Sarah Turner with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. “Stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new you’ve never tried before. It just opens the kids up to a brand new industry that they may not have previously had experience with. The equine industry is huge in Maryland and so it just provides more opportunities for them down the road.”
Giving kids the skills to ride and the ability to handle and understand their new four-legged friends.
“The challenges are number one her eating grass, she loves the grass,” Johnson said. “Multiple times throughout the interview you’ve seen her pull her head down to eat grass and I have to yoink her back up.”
City Ranch is trying is trying to keep hold of their ranch and they need your help.
They’ve got a fundraiser going on right now to do that.
If you want to sign your kid up for a spot in the fall program, click here.