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Meet Your Neighbor: Kathryn Davis

“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” – Winston Churchill

A study by the American Youth Horse Council found that equestrian activities have a direct affect on enhancing a range of life skills in children.  Children are naturally attracted to horses and they make wonderful childhood companions. They help children build character in addition to providing some healthy benefits like increased balance, coordination and flexibility. 

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By: Callie Thomas

Resident Kathryn Davis grew up in Irvine, California where her family kept horses at Irvine Park.  She and her sister made lots of friends who loved animals and her experience with horses throughout her youth provided her with a loving, learning and yes, stable environment. When she moved to Las Vegas, she looked for a place that her children would have a similar experience.  Little did she know that she would end up with three horses of her own and be looking for a place to live with them. The Las Vegas Riding Academy was the perfect solution. Davis is the owner and instructor of the facility which offers kids an opportunity to learn to ride, care for and develop a passion for animals and the great outdoors. Most of the horses Davis uses for her lessons have been rescued and she supports organizations that not only save horses but provide other services like therapeutic riding for kids.  She is passionate about an organization called Spirit Therapies, which assists physically, mentally and emotionally challenged children by connecting them with trained therapy horses, certified instructors and compassionate volunteers. 

Kathryn Davis talks about her dream of creating a facility with horse camps, play days and therapeutic riding for handicapped kids. She also discusses what children of today can learn from the experience and how her own mother was influential in her love of horses.

Tell us about your dream of creating a facility that includes therapeutic riding.

“I have dreamed of having a nonprofit organization that would bring in kids from all walks of life to share the therapeutic effects of horses and animals.  It would be a place where kids can spend time outside; a place to learn to care for and be compassionate about animals.  I am so passionate about this that I always seem to be talking about it.  I have several people who share the same dream as I do and we are working toward building a facility that will provide these services.  Las Vegas Riding Academy is busting at the seams so I know there is a real need out there.”

What do you hope kids will learn from the facility?

“I have children who come to Las Vegas Riding Academy and don’t realize eggs come from chickens.  We need to get our kids away from the computers and back outside interacting with their environment. I want kids to learn that life has its ups and downs, but animals have unconditional love and they don’t judge you.”

Tell us about your support for organizations like L.E.A.N., Shiloh Ranch in Sandy Valley and Spirit Therapies.

“Most of my lesson horses have been rescued. There are lots of wonderful horses out there that need a home. Organizations like L.E.A.N. and Shiloh Ranch help save horses.  Spirit Therapies offers therapeutic riding for mentally or physically handicapped kids as well as military members with physical or mental challenges.  We recently sponsored an American Competitive Trail Horse Association horse show and the proceeds were donated to Spirit Therapies.”

What or whom do you think was the biggest influence in your love of horses?

“I was taught a lot by my mother.  She was the youngest of six kids and grew up during the depression. Her mother died when she was five and when her father lost his job and couldn’t afford to feed the family, the kids were sent to other families.  My mother ended up on a farm and became a horse lover.  She also became a queen of the Ryan Horse Shows and I still have her trophy and pictures from 1944.”

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