HorseSense tweaks Fall Harvest Festival to keep fans on happy trails

Horse Fall Harvest Festival

COON VALLEY, Wis. (WKBT) — HorseSense Inc. will host its third annual Fall Harvest Festival — with safety accommodations because of COVID-19 — from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 3, at its 40-acre farm headquarters at W4102 Ober Road, Coon Valley.
The event is free to the public, even as the therapeutic horse-riding nonprofit struggles to keep its financial feet in the stirrups amid fundraising and programming cancellations because of the novel coronavirus.
Instead of having a typical fall festival with people sometimes moving elbow-to-elbow, HorseSense invites the public to a safer alternative. Participants will be asked to wear masks and remain in their vehicles as they greet the organization’s therapy horses posted periodically along the driveway.
“So many events and gatherings have had to be canceled this year because of COVID-19,” said Samantha Hall, HorseSense’s executive director. “We didn’t want to do that for our beloved Fall Harvest Festival. Instead, we thought this clever alternative would be a great way to celebrate in a way that is safe and accessible for the whole community.”
The event will feature drive-thru BINGO for children to play. Guests are encouraged to bring cash to buy 50/50 cash raffle tickets. The drawing will take place after the event on Facebook Live.
Proceeds from the raffle will benefit HorseSense’s therapeutic horseback riding program, which the pandemic has hobbled this year. HorseSense caters especially to youths, adults and military veterans with disabilities they can help overcome through partnerships with horses and learning to ride. It also is open to people without disabilities.
“We are projecting to lose about $50,000 in programmatic revenue alone this year,” Hall said. “We need the community’s support to ensure our program carries on long after COVID-19.”
More information is available on the organization’s website. Details also can be found on HorseSense’s Facebook page.