Riding Instructor in Training Gets Recognized by Equus Foundation

Sophia Soto was first introduced to horses when she attended Circle C’s summer camp at Keyauwee Program Center in 2019. And since then, she has been volunteering at the equestrian center through the Riding Instructor in Training (RIIT) program. Her volunteerism with Circle C was recently recognized by the EQUUS Foundation in a drawing for new riding boots.

Soto said that she became more confident during that first horse camp experience and fell in love with the barn. The knowledge that she has gained through both weekend and summer programs has allowed her to build skills, bond with the horses and serve the community. An Honor student at a magnet school for the Arts, Soto sometimes draws the horses at Circle C. Her favorite horse is a Mustang gelding named Ritz. She described him as “the sweetest boy in the world.”

She says that the confidence that comes from working with the horses is what she hopes to give to younger members who are participating in the RIIT program. Confidence, and maybe the knowledge that their work is making the world just a little bit better.

“The best feeling is when you have a child that is a little hesitant or nervous, and by the end of the ride, they don’t want to get off,” said Soto.

The Equus Foundation is the only national animal welfare in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses and strengthening the bond between horses and people. Their mission is all about how horses have the ability to empower, teach and heal people in so many ways.

To learn more about Circle C Equestrian Center and the RIIT program, please click here.

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