SIRE sets date for 25th annual benefit trail ride

You can help the more than 300 special needs riders served by SIRE, one of Houston’s oldest and largest therapeutic horsemanship programs, by joining the organization’s Silver Anniversary Saddle Up for SIRE benefit trail ride at 7iL Ranch in Cat Spring, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 21.

This unique, family-friendly event draws horses and riders from all breeds and disciplines. Riders unite in a common cause:  share the excitement and benefits of riding they’ve received in their own horse lives with riders who are working to overcome a variety of emotional and physical challenges.

“Anyone who loves horses knows the joy that emanates from the horse-human bond.  Saddle Up for SIRE is a special event which pays that love forward,” said 2017 Ride Chairman and SIRE board member, K Leonard.

Bring Your Horse and Ride

Historic 7iL Ranch has over 40 miles of beautiful, sandy loam trails which you will be able to enjoy at your own pace.  So bring your horse and ride for an hour or all day.  The choice is yours.  Your $75 early bird entry fee will help pay for a wide array of operational expenses at SIRE from the cost of feed, veterinary and farrier services for the horses to special tack and equipment for the riders to the salaries of Path International-certified instructors.   Registration includes barbecue lunch and a commemorative Saddle Up for SIRE event T-shirt on Oct. 21.  Ample primitive camping spots along with a limited number of RV hook-ups are available.  Book your overnight campsite online by making a reservation via the ranch’s website.

Win a Ride on a SIRE Horse

Even those who don’t own a trail horse can participate in this great cause by helping raise funds for SIRE.  The top 10 Win-A-Ride fundraisers will earn a spot on a leisurely paced, scenic afternoon trail ride led by SIRE staff.  To qualify to Win a Ride, a fundraiser must raise a minimum of $500, and funds must be received online or in the SIRE office by Oct. 7.  The top 10 winners will be notified by Oct. 11.

Virtual Trail Riders

What if you’re not a rider or have already planned to attend a competition or other event on the date of the ride?  No problem.  You can still help the riders and horses at SIRE by creating a fundraising page and helping SIRE meet its annual operating expenses.  Did you know, upkeep and maintenance for each of SIRE’s specially trained horses costs several thousand dollars annually?  And the tuition SIRE riders pay only covers about one third the actual cost of each weekly riding session.  Generous donors are needed to fill the gap.

Fundraisers can qualify for exciting prizes based on the amount of donations they procure.  From SIRE memorabilia to gift cards, there are incentives that will tickle the fancy of riders and non-riders alike.  More information about creating fundraising pages will be available on SIRE’s website this summer.

Who is SIRE?

Since 1983, SIRE has been improving the quality of life for people with special needs and disabilities through therapeutic horsemanship activities. Annually, it serves more than 300 special needs riders with the people power of over 30,000 volunteer hours and the horsepower of some 36 horses at three locations across the greater Houston area: one in Hockley, one in Spring and one in Richmond.

SIRE is a 501(c) non-profit organization that receives the highest ratings from non-profit evaluator Guide Star, so donors can rest assured that their contributions will be used wisely.  Likewise, SIRE’ is Premier Accredited by Path International, receiving Path’s highest ratings for its standards of horse care and instructional effectiveness.

Visit SIRE’s website

For more information about Saddle up for SIRE or to find out more about the riding programs provided to the special needs community, visit the events section of SIRE’s website at