With the Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center being located in an area with an abundance of natural sounds, I want to give a little glimpse into the peace the riders enjoy while they are there. Walking along nature paths or in forest preserves is something that has always been soothing to me, as the collection of sounds form a certain hum. One aspect of audio will dive into this, as I can record the natural sounds to make the audience feel as if they are riding through as well. Trying to integrate the audience as much as possible into Cedar Creek is my main goal, so that they truly can comprehend what is happening.
The other audio aspect I hope to hone in on is the sounds emitting from the horses. Tracking the horses from the saddle being strapped onto them, to meeting the riders, and walking should provide plenty of sound, and give an idea of just how busy the horses are. At times the horses can become a bit of an afterthought, but they are also being worked extremely hard, and must be patient and good listeners. Listening to all the sounds the horses hear can work as a catalyst for the audience to have more appreciation for these helpful equestrians.
Since still photos only capture a single moment, I plan on utilizing the still photos to show the joy the riders, volunteers, and families receive from the horseback riding. As the old cliche goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and nowhere else could this be more true. There are so many emotions running wild at the Riding Center, with many parents witnessing their children doing or saying things they never thought they would. In fact, Karen Grindler, the founder of Cedar Creek, once had a woman come tell her that her son had said “look, Cedar Creek.” That certainly sounds like a standard sentence, but for this mother it represented the first sentence her son had ever spoken. Similar moments are frequently occurring at Cedar Creek, and these moments will portray the riders being able to express themselves in new ways.
Nature and its beauty can go unnoticed at times, and I intend to frame the still photos around nature and this “beauty”. This is a time where I can take the story a different direction, and show how nature is, in a way, lending itself to Cedar Creek and assisting in helping the riders. I am already capturing the sound of nature in the audio section, and adding in still photos should give a more complete picture of what is surrounding those at Cedar Creek. I will facilitate between pictures that frame nature as massive with riders just being one small part of it, and pictures that frame nature as being secondary to the riders. The different framing gives me a chance to capture the beauty in a more complete way.
One aspect of the riding that must be captured is the health benefits it has for the riders. It is truly incredible the health benefits that riding brings to people that absolutely need it, and with three different types of riding there is much to explore. Motion therapy focuses on balance and coordination through different riding exercises, while sport therapy gives the riders a chance to learn how to control the horse. The mainstream recreational riding presents a chance to better social skills by competing in local shows and increasing the amount of time the riders spend interacting with other people. I can delve into the benefits each type of therapy has, but also talk about what horseback riding does in general for the body and mind.
I want to dig deeper into what makes Cedar Creek so successful, and at the forefront of this are the volunteers and workers. Filming the setup with taking the horses out and getting them ready to go, along with taking them back in and putting them away would shed some light on this process. Along these lines, I want to interview some of the volunteers and receive a better idea of exactly why they choose to volunteer, and what they have learned from their time with Cedar Creek. With this perspective, I also want to witness the relationships between the volunteers and the riders, and illuminate the attitude of the volunteers.