A local nonprofit aiming to build character in city kids through horseback riding could be on their last lap. A Horse's Friend in Pittsford is in danger of losing its location.

A local nonprofit aiming to build character in city kids through horseback riding could be on their last lap. A Horse's Friend in Pittsford is in danger of losing its location.

The owner of the farm has to sell it. When he does, A Horse's Friend, a group currently on a month to month lease will also have to go. This program has taught thousands of city kids how to ride horses over the years keeping them out of trouble.

It's tucked away at High View Farms in Pittsford and it's giving Rochester kids like Toni Ayala the chance to learn to ride horses for free.

"We get to enjoy riding horses and we have people to teach us," Ayala said. "This program help people learn what to do and what not to do when you're near horses."

Ayala is trained by volunteers like college student Erin Murphy who also went through the program.

"The most rewarding part is working with the other students and knowing I was once in their position and seeing where I am today and knowing they can get here," Murphy said.

When the farm is sold, A Horse's Friend will be out of their location, unless they raise nearly one million dollars to buy it. Founder Matthew Doward says the loss would leave a big void in the community.

"It would be devastating there's no way around it," Doward said. "But the biggest thing is that urban kids would not get the opportunity to experience horses like this."

Doward says the experience builds character, teaches responsibility and keeps kids out of trouble. Since 2004 the group has given more than 2500 Rochester kids that chance. Farm owner Jack Frohm had his doubts at first, but now he's a believer.

"They give me no problems, no disruptions," Frohm said. "They're just the greatest kids and they enjoy coming out and they work like you wouldn't believe, it's a super program."

Frohm wishes he could give Doward the farm, but he can't so he's speaking up hoping kids like Ayala can keep riding. Ayala comes to the farm four times a week and without this, she wouldn't be doing much.

"I would be sitting at my house bored," Ayala said.

On top of all the kids who would be at a loss, A Horse's Friend has 27 horses. Without a facility, those horses will be homeless. You can help by donating to the gofundme here, or you can contact Matthew Doward with suggestions for a new location for the program by email at ahorsesfriend@yahoo.com