Educating the Future of Charm City, continued...

sated in a way so that he stays with us.” Griggs first came to

The City Ranch program takes horses right to the schools of Balti- more’s inner city, exposing elementary-aged children to horseman- ship, riding and careers in the equine industry.

the farm but would trailer them to the schools,” Dahn explained. “And from the moment we park the trailer, the kids are involved in learn- ing every aspect of horse care, from unloading the horse to grooming and eventually to riding.” Te fully mobile program brings everything needed to teach horsemanship and riding to each school, including a round pen! Many members of his family support the

program, which Dahn describes as “a family thing.” Dahn himself is an unpaid employee, and he wants to remain unpaid so that those he mentors, who are now stepping up into leader- ship roles, can be paid. “I want to make sure my staff is taken care of,” he explained. Christopher Griggs is one such staff member who is taking up more of the reins of the operations. Dahn said, “Running a program like this is a lot of work, and Christopher is very good at what he does and I want to make sure he is compen-

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City Ranch when he was 12 years old and told Te Chronicle of the Horse in 2019 that “Ev- ery single work skill that I have has come from either my mother or here – mostly here. I’ve learned just about everything I know as far as work etiquette and how to solve prob- lems.” Griggs became a volunteer, then a part-time employee, working his way up to farm manager. City Ranch now

leases a farm and has a full riding and board- ing program right at the farm, but that does not stop Dahn and his staff from taking the horses to where they are needed most. Right before Maryland shut

down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, City Ranch had been working with Michael J. Har- rison, DVM, President of the Maryland Horse Breeders Asso- ciation, to create a horsemanship curriculum for Baltimore City’s public elementary schools. “You know, we have to start with edu- cation,” he said, adding, “teaching these kids how to groom a horse could lead them down a path to a career in any part of the horse

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industry. We are opening up the minds of chil- dren through horses.” Which brings us to Dahn’s solution to… well, basically everything. Education.

Diversifying the Horse Industry While most of 2020 thus far has been fo-

cused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the death of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis this past May lit a fire across the world. Protesters in nearly every state in the U.S. and in many cities worldwide, began chanting, “Black Lives Matter” and in a way, the world woke up. “Look, let me tell you a bit about myself,” Dahn said. He went on to explain that he trac- es his roots to land stolen from his ancestral people, Israelites who were stolen into slavery by the Roman Empire. Tat heritage fuels his desire to pursue peace and harmony, at home and around the globe, through education and


Groups, such as this Girl Scout Troop, can also participate in programs at City Ranch’s farm.

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