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Help HARTH Foundation feed its horses

HARTH Foundation holding Feedraiser

HARTH Foundation's Feedraiser is Saturday, Oct. 17, at Hill Country Feed and Hay in Burnet. The goal is collecting 7 tons of feed for the organization’s 16 therapy horses. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Fourteen-thousand pounds of horse feed sounds like a lot, but when you have 16 equine mouths to feed, it’s a drop in the bucket.

“Seven tons, well, it will last us about six months,” said Sherry Atherton of HARTH Foundation, a nonprofit equine facility that provides therapeutic programs for veterans and people with special needs. “If we could get more, that would be wonderful.”

HARTH Foundation is holding its second annual Feedraiser from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at Hill Country Feed & Hay, 1801 E. Polk St. in Burnet. You can purchase feed from the shop for about $11 per bag or simply make a donation. 

Atherton said you don’t even need to attend the event to help. Just call Hill Country Feed & Hay at 512-756-7674 to order feed over the phone. 

You can also support HARTH by purchasing chances on a number of prizes at $5 a ticket or $20 for five. Prizes include a Shop Burnet gift basket valued at over $200, a Tito’s Signature gift basket valued at $175, a Taste of Cooper’s gift basket valued at $60, and a Gourmet Coffee basket valued at more than $60.

Tickets will be available during the Saturday event, or you can purchase them in advance at the feed store; at Unshakable Grounds Coffee Shop, 134 S. Main St. in Burnet; or from HARTH Foundation board members or volunteers. 

HARTH Foundation T-shirts will be available for sale during the Feedraiser.

Atherton started HARTH Foundation in 2015 to offer equine-assisted programs to veterans, service members, and their families. Studies have shown that ground-based equine therapy can have a tremendous positive impact on those struggling with mental health issues, including stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

In 2019, HARTH Foundation expanded its programs to include certified therapeutic riding and equine-assisted learning for people with emotional, physical, and/or mental challenges. 

Atherton said the foundation continues to add programs, including an upcoming Back in the Saddle riding program for veterans suffering from PTSD and Riding for Life Stress for anyone struggling with the stresses of everyday life, especially during a pandemic. 

The foundation’s center is located on about 16 acres along Lake Buchanan. 

A key component of the foundation are the horses, and every bit of feed donated or purchased through donations helps those who need the programs. 

“We’re also always looking for more volunteers,” Atherton added. 

You can learn more about the program through the HARTH Foundation website or by stopping by the Feedraiser on Saturday.