Ride For A Cause
The Trail Rider|March 2017

Discover how planning a charity/benefit trail ride can be good for the soul.

Jenny Sullivan

As an avid trail rider, you’re always looking for new ways to hit the trail. What could be better than trail riding for a cause?

Consider planning and organizing a charity/benefit ride in your local area or region. These rides give you the opportunity to combine pleasure with purpose to raise money for a group, a person in need, or a worthwhile cause.

Read on to find out more about charity/benefit rides and learn 12 great tips for planning one of these meaningful events.

Giving From the Heart

Charity/benefit rides really are about trail riding for a cause, and, according to Billy Bissette, past president of Mingo Trails Saddle Club (mingotrails.com) in Toomsboro, Georgia, “Horse people are good folks. If you show them a need, they’ll try to find a way to fill it.”

Tina Laguna, a member of the Washington State Quarter Horse Association (wsqha.com) and owner of one of their sponsored charities (rancholagunaheart. org), agrees. “I plan the Golden Harvest Charity Ride for the association,” she says. “This ride is in its 21st year, and there are riders who plan their yearly trail rides around this event. They come from all the surrounding states and even Canada.”

Simply put, charity/benefit rides are about who the money from the ride goes to. Generally, the proceeds can go in three different directions: to a sponsoring group or cause; to a person or family in need; or to a nonprofit organization.

For instance, suppose the local saddle club to which you belong holds a yearly benefit ride. The profits from the ride help cover the club’s annual expenses and can subsidize the benefits it provides to its membership. Or, ride funds can help repair a bridge on a favorite trail or provide spring maintenance services to trails in a particular locale.

A second type of charity/benefit ride can be organized to help a person or family in need, such as a local hero fighting a disease or a popular riding instructor injured in an accident. Helping a local family come back after a devastating fire or flood also fits this bill.

Nonprofit organizations also can reap the rewards of a charity/benefit ride. Nonprofits that are part of the equine industry, such as a therapeutic riding center or an equine-rescue organization, can collect much-needed funds to bolster and reinforce the important work they do.

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