Five years ago today, some very generous PUSH America members from across the southeast descended upon Shining Hope Farms’ Mt. Holly location to begin constructing what would eventually become our new indoor arena. At the end of that weekend, they had knocked down the exterior wall of our original mini indoor arena and we had officially begun construction on an addition that would double the size. Fast forward five years and we’ve finally done it!

The goal for the indoor arena was always to have something that could provide our clients, staff, and horses a much-needed year-round shelter from the elements. The problem we were facing was that we were frequently having to cancel services during inclement weather as our original indoor riding arena was not full size and could only accommodate one client at a time. And even for the one client that was able to utilize it, they were not receiving the full benefits of hippotherapy, because the horse’s range of movement was limited in the small space.

Eventually, as many of you may remember, we were able to double the footprint, however we still had no walls! While this protected everyone from the rain, it didn’t help buffer the temperatures. As a year-round operation, this was specifically difficult on days when it was too cold to ride outside, and days when it was too hot, as we have several patients who have seizure disorders, which can be triggered by heat exposure.

However, our amazing community rallied again and again and helped us to eventually get to the finish line. Today we are happy to report, that not only do we have walls, we have beautiful red siding that now covers all of our buildings at the Mt. Holly farm. Now it not only matches our Charlotte farm in color, but also in capacity!

There are so many of you who helped us with this project in small, big, and in some cases VERY big ways. We want to thank:

The Ability Experience (formerly Push America)
SouthLake Christian Academy
Randy and Sheila Gibson with Carolina Framers
Craig & Sherry Helton & family
Greg, Tim, David, & Paul Leimer
Adam and Jacob Thompson
Wells Fargo employees
Deloitte employees
Ron Mosley with R&R Ironworks
Mark Hatfield
Parkwood Baptist Church
Glenn Horne Electric for their wiring help
Cindy Demers for her landscaping help
Grand Knight Vin Lindgren with the Knights of Columbus council 11076
Wes & Tina Holt of SiteWorks
Barrett Blackburn
Those who donated to:
The Community Foundation of Gaston County Runs
Our Evening at Ingleside event
Our Evening on Mountain Island Lake Luau event
Our Giving Tuesday campaigns
And thank you to Paul Kirkpatrick who has helped tremendously with every stage of this project.

Thank you all for your support! With your help in completing this project, we’ve been able to have continuity of services no matter the weather. This means that clients have been able to stay on track in working towards their goals, and let’s face it, everyone has just been more comfortable! Thank you for making this possible!

P.S. While this project is nearly complete, we are still in need of two industrial fans for our indoor arena. The fans will create proper ventilation for a comfortable environment for our fragile patients while keeping our arena footing intact.