Around this time last year, the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association gained international attention with their “Ember had a Dream” promotional video which went viral.
The three minute clip features CTRA horse Ember, who struggles to keep up to with the other show horses before realizing her true calling as a therapy horse. The heart-warming film was directed and produced by local student Maddie Mahon, a Vancouver Island University theatre technician and accomplished equestrian.
After posting the video to Facebook in early 2018, CTRA gained thousands of followers and received messages of support from horse lovers across the world. Many people took the opportunity to tell their own stories of equine-assisted therapy and the special horses in their lives. The viral video was featured on the local, regional, and national news, helping to bring in a number of much-needed donations to the small charity.
This holiday season, thanks to a number of re-posts by prominent media outlets, the Ember Had a Dream video has resurface on Facebook, passing 1 million views in December. The video now has over 800 comments, almost 19,000 shares, and almost 10,000 likes.
“This attention is unprecedented for CTRA,” says Anne Muir, executive director for CTRA. “It has been amazing to connect with people from countries and cultures across the world who share a common language — horses!”
CTRA hopes the video’s recirculation will help to gain some more donations for the charity. While their Christmas Neigh Sleigh campaign is now finished, there are plenty of ways you can contribute. See: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/cowichan-therapeutic-riding-association/impact/view/
“CTRA relies entirely on community support to keep our services accessible for persons with special needs,” says Muir, “[Donations] helps us to afford necessities like food, shoes, and blankets for Ember and all the other therapy horses.”