LEE, Maine — Just as KD Stable helps people, so people are helping KD Stable, its owner said Saturday.
Fundraisers held on Saturday and Nov. 27 helped stable owner Debra McKay raise more than $500 and drew about 100 people to the Thomas Hill horse farm to see the horses that McKay nurses back to health and uses to help people with equine therapy, she said.
“These two weekends have been some of the best we’ve had,” McKay said Saturday. “Our Christmas tree here has been a great success, and we’ve had people sending donations through the mail. We’ve had one 14-year-old pledge $20 per month to help rehabilitate one of our horses. It’s been wonderful.”
The fundraising events, which cost $10 per family, featured wagon rides, ornament crafting for children, hot cocoa and cookies, plus drawings for gift certificates and gift baskets, though muddy conditions precluded wagon rides in Saturday’s event.
A certified horseback riding instructor and equine-assisted psychotherapist, McKay offers interactions with horses to a range of teen and adult patients for a variety of disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, anger management and conflict resolution.
To learn to ride or care for a horse, people must overcome fear, develop self-confidence and learn skills in verbal and nonverbal communication, assertiveness, creative problem-solving, leadership and teamwork, McKay has said.
Besides cash donations, several attendees brought holiday gifts, including horse blankets, brushes and other accoutrements. They also bought holiday wreaths made by McKay and some of her foster children.
Since 2000, KD Stable has helped about 300 teens and several horses overcome various illnesses or issues, McKay said. The stable has 13 horses, almost all of them rescues, that she is nursing back to health. She has had as many as 16 horses, she said.
McKay will likely hold a sleigh ride as soon as the weather permits, she said.