When College of Agriculture and Life Sciences student Izah Gallagher learned that a local non-profit needed help funding and building a fenced arena where at-risk girls could ride rescued horses, she knew just the group to help: N.C. State University’s Animal Science Club.
Each semester, the club takes on four or five service projects, usually with a tie to agriculture. This spring, the club donated money to farmers hurt by tornadoes, made valentines for nursing home residents and spent one spring Saturday building a 700-foot fence for the CORRAL Riding Academy in Cary.
CORRAL — which gets its name from the phrase “changing lives through riding rehabilitation and learning” — pairs horses acquired through the U.S. Equine Rescue League with teens who are referred by social services, police departments, school counselors and others.
The academy’s founder and president, Joy Currey, operates CORRAL on her family’s farm. Her goal: to promote healing, growth and lasting life change through horseback riding, vocational training, tutoring, equine-assisted learning and equine-assisted psychotherapy. Girls must apply to the program, and those selected must commit to being involved for at least a year.
Gallagher used to teach horse-riding lessons under Currey when they both worked at another equestrian center in Raleigh. After Currey left, Izah kept in touch with her and learned that CORRAL needed a fence – and not just money to buy the fence, but the manpower to install it.
As president-elect of the Animal Science Club, Gallagher was in charge of the spring semester service projects, so she proposed using some of the funds that the club raised during the N.C. State Fair to buy lumber and screws. And, with the other club officers’ approval, she set up a work day in late March.
About 40 club members came out and completed the fence in a day. CORRAL’s participants also got to help out; they were each paired with a club member for the day.
Gallagher said it was a good day for all.
“The people that run CORRAL have really good hearts, and they are trying hard to make it successful. They are helping girls while they are helping horses. They are making a difference,” Gallagher said. “Building the fence was something that the club could contribute, and we knew that it was for a good cause.”