The Y Ride program incorporates the YMCA’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility into the equine experience. The purpose of the Y Ride program, created by Julie Costello, Executive Director of the YMCA of Greater Springfield, is to provide underserved youth and teens with the opportunity to develop personal growth of spirit, mind and body through exposure to the structure of horseback riding and equine care.
“I designed the Y Ride program to give kids, who may not have had the opportunity, a chance to experience all the benefits riding can bring to ones life. The bond that you make with a horse is invigorating and empowering.” – Julie Costello, Executive Director of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and competitive hunt seat rider.
Shallowbrook designed an equine program that includes a riding goals, horse care seminars, homework assignments and journal entries. Other activities include playing with Shallowbrook’s nationally ranked Interscholastic Polo Team and a demonstration at Shallowbrook’s student horse show. Each session includes ten weekly and one hour lessons.
“I am impressed by Shallowbrook’s professionalism and extremely excited to be collaborating with Shallowbrook on our Y Ride program. I think bringing the Y Ride program to Shallowbrook will enable us to offer our children an enhanced equestrian experience. The benefits of the program to these underserved children far exceed just learning to ride. It’s not just about the riding, but about developing self confidence, pride, patience, trust and more. This new partnership will allow us to take our program to the next level and I think the benefits to our kids are limitless.” – Julie Costello, Executive Director of the YMCA of Greater Springfield.
The Y Ride program kicked off its first lesson on Wednesday, November 18th and is funded through a combination of private donations and state funds. The YMCA of Greater Springfield is now looking for tax-deductible donations for the 2010 Y Ride program. For more information, please contact Julie Costello, Executive Director of the Greater Springfield YMCA at 413/739-6951, extension 181.