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Horses of many different colors
FETC camp paves way for its mission
shea-morrie 2
Rebecca Shea and Amber Morrie get to work on Missy, who is 24 years old. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

Anyone driving on Appaloosa Way on Wednesday may have been taken aback by the sight of the horses.

Not that seeing horses is unusual — it’s how the horses look.

Campers at the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center put their artistic touches to work by painting the horses before their afternoon ride.

“When these horses are done,” said Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center’s Bonnie Rachael Gentry, “they are covered from head to toe. They even paint their feet sometimes.”

Faith Equestrian offers week-long riding camps throughout the summer, and the proceeds from those camps go to fund its mission.

“The money on these camps goes to help kids with disabilities have a riding program,” Gentry said.

Since May 2006, Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center has been offering horseback riding lessons to those with physical, mental or emotional disabilities at no charge. The fees for the week-long summer camps cover those costs.

For paid campers, their days run from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

“They have a long day, but they go home tired, dirty and happy,” Gentry said. “The main thing about the camp is if they want to learn more about horses, that’s what we’re all about. We teach them to enjoy the horse safely and to enjoy the horse’s company.”

Gentry said riders are given a camp counselor to help them along.

“By the end of the week, they can ride independently, without a horse leader,” she said.

And at the end of it, the horses do get a bath from the riders.

“The horses just love the attention,” Gentry said.