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First Tennessee Foundation Donates $15,000 to support Southern Reins Spring Session

Updated: Jun 27

Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, received a generous grant of $15,000 from the First Tennessee Foundation to sponsor its 2016 Spring Lesson Session to provide therapeutic riding to people with disabilities throughout the Mid-South. This support provides much-needed funding to support therapeutic riding opportunities to enhance physical, social, and cognitive abilities for program participants.

Southern Reins encourages each rider to reach their full potential through the life-changing interactions their horses and ponies provide. “This program has been so greatly needed in our community,” says Kirby Dobbs Floyd, Chairman of Southern Reins. “To see our riders filled with joy and achievement as they learn to ride is nothing short of miraculous. First Tennessee Bank, the First Tennessee Foundation, and FTB Advisors have been a big part of our program from the very start. Their investment in our program has helped us make tremendous strides in serving our participants. Their support is truly changing lives.”

The benefits that program participants receive through their therapeutic riding lessons are immediate and evident. For a person who spends most of their day in a wheelchair, they are given freedom and independence as they walk taller than everyone else around them on the back of their horse. For a child with autism who rarely speaks, and avoids eye contact and touch, communication and engagement are enhanced as they look to their instructors for guidance, ask their horse to “Walk On” and “Whoa”, and reach down to pat their horse and share a gentle hug. It is the connection with the horse that makes the all-important difference, and it is unique and lasting for each rider at Southern Reins.

“The First Tennessee Foundation is proud to support the great work of Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy as they empower individuals through equine activities and therapeutic riding,” said Charles Burkett, Chairman of the First Tennessee Foundation. “Our contribution will enable Southern Reins to serve more than 30 individuals with disabilities through their equine therapy program and we could not be any more excited to support such a worthy cause.”

First Tennessee Bank established its foundation in 1993 to support nonprofit organizations in the communities it serves. The foundation invests in ways that engage its employees, responding inclusively to needs and promoting progress and prosperity across Tennessee. Since its inception, the First Tennessee Foundation has donated more than $60 million to meet community needs.

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