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HorsePower Therapeutic Riding to hold trick-or-treating event Oct. 30

Benefit will be 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Honey Bridge Ranch

[Note to readers: Because of rain last weekend, the event will take place Oct. 30.]

Carrie Capes knows firsthand the therapeutic value a horse can provide to someone with disabilities.

Capes has a son with special needs. She is the co-founder, president and lead instructor of HorsePower Therapeutic Riding, located at Honey Bridge Ranch, 6N917 Route 25 near St. Charles.

“I just really wanted to provide for other families, especially low-income families, of the experiences that my son was having and some of the very empowering life changes that he was seeing through participating in therapeutic riding,” said Capes, who has a degree in therapeutic recreation from Illinois State University and also was a special education substitute teacher in the Kaneland school district for five years.

HorsePower never turns away anyone because of their inability to pay, providing needy families with scholarships. To help raise funds for the organization, HorsePower Therapeutic Riding will hold its annual trick-or-treat event on its rain date from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Honey Bridge Ranch.

Tickets are $7 for trick-or-treaters and $2 for adults, and can be purchased at HorsePower’s website, horsepowertr.com. Those attending will park at Brewster Creek Forest Preserve at 6N921 Route 25 near St. Charles and they will check in showing their ticket, via mobile device or printed.

Unvaccinated individuals attending the event will be asked to wear their masks at all times.

“We do our best to supplement the expenses of the program by doing fundraisers,” Capes said. “And we just love having the community come to the ranch too. It is a fundraiser, but there are many goals when you have an event like that. Some of the other goals outside of finances are to start to open up the ranch to the public. We are typically not open to the public, and it’s such a great time to have people that we have never met before to sign up and come out and enjoy the day as a family.”

Saturday’s event also serves as a way for the public to learn more about what HorsePower Therapeutic Riding does. HorsePower provides a wide range of programming for children and adults alike.

“Since we are not open to the public and because of COVID and whatnot, we are not offering tours and allowing people to observe in the same way that we used to,” Capes said. “So it is a great way to open the doors and let people see what the facility is like and see what the animals are like and feel the vibe of our community there.”

Her son has a mitochondrial disorder. He is nonverbal and has a hearing impairment.

He started riding when he was about 8 years old.

“Horses were so motivating for him,” Capes said. “They inspired him to try hard and to believe in himself. And he just had fun. Horseback riding didn’t feel like work to him. Therefore, he really tried and persisted. He learned persistence and patience.”

Saturday’s event will feature 15 to 20 different stations where kids can trick or treat. A variety of animals will be at the stations, including goats, bunnies, chickens, ducks, miniature donkeys and, yes, horses.

There also will be a hayride, a pumpkin contest and a costume contest. The event was launched last year.

“I really feel like HorsePower has had a tremendous impact in the lives of our students,” Capes said. “People have the ability to stay and grow with us, which is really great.”

Advance registration is requested for Saturday’s event. More information is available at www.horsepowertr.com/trick-or-treat.html.

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf covers St. Charles and writes entertainment stories for the Kane County Chronicle.