Gracie Rutz was a sophomore at North Lamar High School, in the National BETA Club, and a leader and a role model for her local Paris Girl Scouts when she joined Tailored Rides in 2016.
Gracie came to us with aspirations of becoming a therapist and using her services at a therapeutic riding center that she hopes to open one day. As a Tailored Rides volunteer she takes her first steps on that journey and she has given back even more than we could have ever imagined.
For her Gold Award project , Gracie worked to organize and build phase one of our sensory trail. The Gold Award is the highest award that can be given through the Girl Scouts of America and Gracie is only the second young woman locally to accomplish this in the past 10 years. The Gold Award is a major project that the Girl Scouts allow up to four years to complete. Gracie was required to do 80 hours of work including budgeting, seeking donations, networking, building, organizing, and leadership; all while managing school!
After the completion of the trail, we held a contest to name the trail. The overwhelming winner was "TRAIL OF GRACE". We love it, and we love Gracie for her commitment to making our community a better place for all of us.
WHAT IS A SENSORY TRAIL?
A sensory trail is just as it's name sounds; a walk on horseback to engage our five senses. It's much like a real trail ride, but in a contained space, and with a lot of planned interaction. Our sensory trail is a rich learning environment, containing several different stations where various activities can be preformed. Riding the sensory trail provides new challenges and additional learning opportunities not available in an arena setting.
The slide show below shows various interactive stations which Gracie and her wonderful volunteers helped to build.
If you would like to donate supplies or help build phase two of our trail please contact us! (903) 401-9644
Our sensory trail is designed to benefit all riders though individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder (a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses) will find it most advantageous. The various stops along our trail will activate the riders' motor planning, encourage appropriate responses to new sensations, and boost communication all from the back of a horse!