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Kids In West Baltimore Are Learning Horseback Riding Through New Program With UMD Baltimore, City Reach

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The University of Maryland Baltimore is partnering with City Ranch to offer horseback riding lessons to children in West Baltimore.

And it's something you don't see every day.

"Free horseback riding lessons to youth in the community," said Sarah Turner, UMD Baltimore Community Engagement Center.

Kids on horseback!

"We're trying to give children an opportunity to see another side of what's going on in Baltimore," said Ahesahmahk Dahn, CEO of City Ranch.

It's part of a program that started with a two-week intensive clinic.

"The kids came every single day for an hour a day and learned the basics of horseback riding," Turner said.

For Vivian, it was her first time interacting with a horse.

"The only place I've seen a horse other than here is New York, at first it was definitely scary," said Vivian Terry, student.

But her fear quickly wore off.

"I can get on higher horses, it's much easier to move," she said.

"She came back today, she got on the horse, she really enjoyed it," Dahn said.

"That sense of confidence and accomplishment in learning a new skill has been really impactful," Turner said.

From now until June, the children will hop on a horse weekly at the University of Maryland BioPark.

"Everybody's not a basketball player, everybody's not a football player, you know?" Dahn said. "So this is a way of reaching out to children to let them know that there's something else."

And for Vivian, she feels as if she's made new friends.

"Like Ed- who likes to put his head down a lot," she said, referencing the horse.

You can learn more about how to sign up or donate here.

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