The MeloTel team is proud to announce that it is the brand new, official sponsor of a wonderful horse named Scout. If this announcement has raised your eyebrows, we understand. It’s not your run-of-the-mill business decision. But this one certainly comes from the heart as Scout is a therapy horse that lives at WETRA, an Essex, Ontario-based therapeutic riding facility.
Founded in 1971 as WARH (Windsor Association of Riding for the Handicapped) by Windsor radiologist and equestrian, Dr. Elmer Butt, WETRA is the first Canadian-based association to offer horses as means of therapy. Dr. Butt got the idea from an English facility that used horses as therapeutic solutions to the needs of physically challenged children.
Incorporated in 1973, WARH gained recognition as a Registered Canadian Charitable Organization. It changed its name to WETRA (Windsor – Essex Therapeutic Riding Association) in 1995 in order to better describe the area it serves and the services it provides. Today, WETRA employs both full-time and part-time staff, which includes CanTRA (Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association) certified instructors, an Occupational Therapist, a mental health professional and about 100 weekly volunteers.
Among WETRA’s employees is Rob Meloche, the brother of MeloTel’s CEO, John Meloche. Rob recently informed John that most horses at WETRA are sponsored. Scout, however, has been at WETRA for quite some time without a sponsor. That has all ended. With MeloTel’s sponsorship, WETRA will have a much easier time of caring for the 15 year-old Scout.
With the help of sponsorship, WETRA is better able to maintain the health and conditions of their horses. Doing so, naturally, is very important to the success of the organization’s program. The costs of horse care include feed, bedding, farrier (foot care), veterinary costs, medication and supplements. In addition to the finances required to keep the horses healthy and fed, there is also the cost of the manpower hours needed to train and care for the herd.
The horses at WETRA have proven to be vital to the betterment of the emotional and mental health of those who ride them. In fact, John’s niece Shaya has been a first-hand recipient of Scout’s therapeutic benefits as she has ridden him herself. A therapeutic horse must be kind, gentle and patient, taking on the role of friend, teacher, confidante and therapist.
As the WETRA website explains, “the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social benefits of therapeutic riding are all encompassing for riders, volunteers, and family members that are involved in the specialized and meaningful programs offered at the Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association (WETRA).”
MeloTel’s sponsorship of Scout was coordinated by Becky Mills, who is the Executive Director of WETRA. On behalf of the entire MeloTel team, we’d like to thank Becky, Rob and everyone else at this great organization for giving us the opportunity to add Scout to the MeloTel family. We’re elated that our sponsorship will allow Scout to continue to provide therapeutic riding to those in the Essex-Windsor, Ontario area.