Amid the pandemic, virtual has become the new normal and now that includes Eagle Mount in Great Falls. Eagle Mount is a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic recreational opportunities for people of all ages working to overcome challenges in their lives. One of their most notable programs is the equestrian program.
“For safety reasons, we’re kind of limiting how many people we have out here, so we figured if we can get together we still want to get together. So our Zoom sessions, we can see the horses and we can see each other and talk to each other. It’s kind of a check-in to make sure we’re all doing good,” said Heather Martin, Eagle Mount Operations Coordinator.
On Tuesday, some of Eagle Mount’s participants hopped on their computers and phones for a Zoom session, making paper turkeys with Eagle Mount staff members. A computer was set up, however, so the participants could at least see some of Eagle Mount's horses.
Tuesday marked the first of Eagle Mount’s new virtual lesson plans.
“We work on a lot of confidence building, social skills, communication aspects. So there’s so much we can touch on and I think we’re going to find this a fun challenge to kind of break out of the way we usually do things,” explained Jenny Gooldy, Eagle Mount Therapeutic Riding Instructor.
The participants are glad to have the Zoom sessions, but they miss interacting with the horses.
“(It’s) pretty tough, but I have (my dog) Peanut,” said 9-year-old Gracie Lee.
“I’m an animal lover. I just really like animals,” 15-year-old Caitlin White said.
A passion that, thanks to technology, she can indulge even during a global pandemic.