Dream Catchers

A therapeutic horseback riding program in Cameron, Missouri, will hold their fourth annual chili cook-off fundraiser this month. Pam Swindler, director for Dream Catchers, stands next to a trained therapy horse.

A therapeutic horseback riding program in Cameron, Missouri, will hold their fourth annual chili cook-off fundraiser this month. Pam Swindler, director for Dream Catchers, stands next to a trained therapy horse.

A therapeutic horseback riding program in Cameron, Missouri, will hold their fourth annual chili cook-off fundraiser this month. Dream Catchers, a nonprofit organization in Clinton County, offers equine-assisted activities and therapies for people with disabilities through the movement of and human interaction with horses. Pam Swindler, a certified therapeutic horse instructor, said the program is open to riders of all ages with physical, cognitive and emotional disorders. Riders are matched with horses that are cared for through the program. This year, the program was financially impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A therapeutic horseback riding program in Cameron, Missouri, will hold their fourth annual chili cook-off fundraiser this month.

Dream Catchers, a nonprofit organization in Clinton County, offers equine-assisted activities and therapies for people with disabilities through the movement of and human interaction with horses.

Pam Swindler, a certified therapeutic horse instructor, said the program is open to riders of all ages with physical, cognitive and emotional disorders. Riders are matched with horses that are cared for through the program.

This year, the program was financially impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the fundraiser, masks will be recommended for safety. Food also will be available for curb-side pickup.

Swindler said the horses are trained to help riders get optimal benefit. Each horse and rider are matched based on personality and therapeutic needs such as improving balance and coordination.

She said a range of horse breeds can be effective as therapeutic horses. The program has adopted a horse named Honey, which is a Haflinger that was rescued, and uses the horse for riders with autism, blindness and people that have experienced paralysis.

“We see a wide array of medical issues and we can use horses to accomplish their therapeutic objectives,” Swindler said. “It’s hard to put into words all the stories we have of seeing improvement in our riders.”

The program is long-standing in the community and local volunteers aid the program during riding sessions. The group is also asking for landowners in the area to donate extra hay for the horses during winter.

The fourth “Blazing Saddles” Chili Cook-Off will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Cameron United Methodist Church located at 201 N Pine Street in Cameron.

The fee for the event will cost $8 for adults, $5 for children under age 12 and is free for children four and younger.

Those who would like to enter chili into the contest must complete a short registration form. The registration fee is $20 and includes the cost of dinner.

In addition, there will be an auction of desserts and baked goods.

For more information, contact Swindler by phone at 816-558-1545. They also can be found on Facebook by searching for Dream Catchers Missouri.