equine therapy atlanta event gallery 2016

mckevers first ride logo

Horses & Humans... Partnering for Pleasure, Growth & Healing.

Dr Laurie Johnson Welcoming To McKeever's First Ride

Event Summary

When Was It? Saturday April 16, 2016

Where Was It? Atlanta, GA -Gwinnett County Fairgrounds

It was a JOY to see almost 500 people at McKeever’s First Ride, at Gwinnett Fairgrounds on April 16th! We were so happy to finally have a pretty day for everyone to SHINE!

carriage riding with horses

We had the chance to enjoy the company of horses--big ones, little ones, even mini horses! We hope you had the chance to ride, if you were motivated to do that! If you were, but one was not available to accommodate you, we are so sorry! The safety and well-being of our guests and our horses is a big priority to us. Therefore, you can rest assured that in 2017, we will have horses who can accommodate bigger riders. We are sorry for any disappointment you may have felt!

Amputee Eating Lunch At McKeever's First Ride In Atlanta

We are so glad, however, that we could offer you lunch--thanks to the generosity of the the Wounded Warriors Project! They generously supplied the hotdogs and hamburgers, with drinks and chips! Friends of McKeever’s First Ride, from the organization, Feeding the Homeless Project, and Hunger Has No Religion, made available their big grill and their big hearted grill bosses and servers! We appreciated them so much! We hope you also enjoyed their hospitality!

Family At MFR 2016

If you are a return Participant to McKeever’s First Ride, we are so glad that you are drawn back to this event! It is our desire to create a day that enables you to “Horse around” whether riding, riding in a carriage, grooming, doing groundwork, or interacting with mini horses. Additionally, we wanted to provide some “animal therapy” through the Petting Zoo that continues to expand. Can you believe we had an emu this year?! It was great to have Dennis Aspy of Shepherd Swords back. We hope you took time for a specialized massage from one of the AMTA massage therapists or from our Ortho-bionomy professional. Did you enjoy relaxing in the Arts & Crafts area? However you decided to spend your day, we are so glad you spent it with us! We all enjoyed the sight and sounds of the Sourwood Band, who generously shared their time and talent!

Deene McKeever Leading The Volunteers

If you enjoyed this event, please help us by sharing your stories with us, by way of Facebook or through our website. There is always a mammoth amount of work it takes to coordinate 170 Volunteers, 30 horses, 25 professionals, and a 75,000 square foot arena in order to offer you this event! We’d love for you to let other youth and adults know about it, especially if they are mobility challenged, have limb differences, or use an Orthotic or Prosthetic device. We know our 2016 Sponsors, ABC, Endolite, SPS, Hanger Clinic, IEA, and CHOA will be glad to hear that they helped fund an event that enhanced your life. That is the aim of OPAF!

OPAF with Deenie & Robin

We are so glad you came to McKeever’s First Ride, and hope you’ll plan to come back next April! In the meantime, stay connected with us through McKeever’s First Ride page on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Also, look for RESOURCES here on our website and at OPAF. Thanks to Ed Dabney and Elizabeth Dabney of Dabney Gentle Horsemanship, we can all remember this event as one tremendous day to SHINE!

What Attendees Said About The Event

I had an awesome time today at McKeever’s First Ride at Gwinnett County Fairgrounds. It was amazing to see so many families and children mingling and enjoying themselves. My FTHP teammate was sweating on that grill and putting in some work. I met tons of veterans/wounded warriors and the founder and co-founder of MFR. What an awesome duo of women doing great things in and for the community. I can’t wait to participate in next years event. Everyone has a testimony to share, I just happen to enjoy sharing mine knowing that God has brought me a long way from where I was! HHNR will be a household name, I can promise you that! We will continue to be a blessing to those in need of our assistance. My vision will come to fruition with the Lord’s guidance as I know He is my source! Everyone is thanking me for what I’m doing to give back to the community and I’m saying to myself, if you only knew… #testimony #struggles #weallhavethem #whatisyourstory #share #communitywork #communitysupport #mfr #mckeeversfirstride2016 #hhnr #fthp #teameffort #givingbacktothecommunity #wwp #veterans #hungerhasnoreligion #wereallpeople

A photo posted by Donny Edwards (@hungerhasnoreligion) on

Event Activites

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  • The Horses Of Sleepy Hollow
  • Ortho-Bionomy
  • Canine Assitants
  • Adaptive Riding
  • Roping
  • Carriage Rides and Therapeutic Carriage Driving
  • Horse Grooming
  • Groundwork
  • Miniature Horses
  • Wheelchair Sports Demonstrations
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Petting Zoo
  • Military Networking
  • Caregiver Networking
  • Massage Therapy
  • Teen Activities
  • Special Demonstrations

Click here to learn more about these activities.

Our 2016 Atlanta Event Photo Gallery

What Was McKeever's First Ride Like In 2016? Check out the photos below to get an idea.

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2016 Event Videos

The National Anthem Performed

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John Pulliam & Deenie McKeever Speaking To The Crowds

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The Petting Zoo Walkthrough

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Wheelchair Fencing, Arts & Crafts, and Mini Horses

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Carriage Riding Loading Zone

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Hoola Hoop Carriage Riding

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Having Fun On The Carriages

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Carriage Riding With Ed Dabney

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Horseback Riding In The Large Arena

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Horseback Riding In The Small Arena

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John Pulliam Speaks To The Volunteers

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Atlanta 2016 Sponsors

The 2016 Promotional Flier

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Check out the promotional flier for the 2016 Atlanta event. 

2016 Live Music From SourWood

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Thanks to Sourwood Band for donating their time and talents to Atlanta's 2016 Event!

Equine Lead - Ed Dabney


Our Mission

Our mission is to showcase the powerful physical and emotional benefits of working with horses.

Who Is It For? (Click to open)


Youth with limb differences, as young as 2 years old have been thrilled to discover the joy of being around horses, and engaging in adaptive riding. Youth, teens, and adult participants with limb loss and limb differences have enjoyed many adventures at McKeever's First Ride events.

Orthotic Patients

It is one thing to adjust to life with an orthotic or prosthetic device, but it is another thing to EXCEL in one's "new normal" life. McKeever's First Ride acquaints guests from 2 to 82 with adaptive sports in a venue well suited to accommodate those who use prosthetic/orthotic devices, and wheelchairs.  

All Military Personnel

At McKeever's First Ride, we are eager to show all military personnel the gratitude and honor they deserve, for serving this great nation. Vets and active military personnel enjoy fellowship with one another, as they enjoy a day to relax and recharge.

Copyright © 2016 McKeever's First Ride. All Rights Reserved. Website Created By Jason Scott Montoya.