CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wisconsin (WEAU) – Friendship Farm in Chippewa Falls held their second horse show. The first was in 2019 and due to the pandemic, no horse tournament could be held in 2020.
Rebecca Meinin works at Friendship Farms and says the 2021 show theme is a little different than it was in the past.
“We call it Friendship Farm Dressage Derby,” Meinin said. “Dressage horse shows have rhythm and planned patterns that people ride.”
A summer full of hard work leads to the horse show and what makes the dressage show and Friendship Farm so unique are the riders.
“Everyone who belongs to our clientele has either cognitive or developmental delays,” Meinin said. “It’s special in that regard, because there aren’t many I know who have horse shows that are done like this.”
Dozens of family and friends gathered to watch ten drivers play a song of their choice.
“It’s such a community that comes together here and it’s just inspiring to watch,” Meinin said.
Pat and Jill Carroll are the owners of Friendship Farms. For more than 15 years, they have been providing opportunities for people with disabilities.
“It became known that we had provided something different and unique,” said Jill. “We not only ride in our free time, but also use animals for assisted learning. From professional skills to soft skills such as business, appropriate interaction with others, behavioral issues, social issues and actual work tasks themselves. “
Jill says it’s hard work but it pays off.
Jill and Pat founded Friendship Farm after their retirement and are now passing the torch on to Meinin.
“I’m in the process of building this mine so it’s really exciting,” Meinin said.
Jill says that it would be no different for Meinin to take over the farm and continue to offer such opportunities for years to come.
“I have every reason to believe that it will be a wonderful experience for everyone. Not only do we want her to be successful for the sake of our customers, but we want her to succeed because we value her that much, ”said Jill. “It’s not easy to start a business at such a young age and we have the opportunity to pass that on and give everyone a good experience.”
To find out more about Friendship Farms, you can call their phone number at (715) 723-0627.
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