Tag Archives: Children

“I Rode Hershey” Banner

13 Oct
Hershey and Megan at the show

Hershey and Megan at the show

Hershey is talented, and he knows it.

He was a Thoroughbred bred for jumping in Ocala, Florida. He was bought by a hunter/jumper family in NJ. His personality did not mesh with theirs and that’s how he fell in my hands.

I could see their complaints. He would swing his hips at me, pin his ears, and occassionally take nips at me. He would throw his feed out of his bin. If the hay did not have alfalfa in it, he would stand over it while looking back at me and promptly urinate on it. Under saddle he would throw in bucks and an occassional rear. He hated all bits and he hated all saddles. He was opinionated about everything. One time a cat lost one of their lives because they got a little too close to his feet.

It is as if he knows that he is special. He likes to bully the other horses. Sometimes he tries to grab my jacket if I do not pay attention to him, as if to demand it.

He whinnies and paws at the ground to let me know that he should be fed first. He uses his body to “herd” the riders that are retrieving other horses. He barges into every conversation, demanding attention.

He is the famous horse for teaching riders how to be sensitive and assertive. A ride on Hershey is the barometer to tell the riders that they have the qualities to be the best. Few have achieved the status “I rode Hershey” and those that have wear this banner with pride.

Thanks Hershey for teaching my students.

Grit, Determination, and One Huge Burning Desire

7 Sep

Jenna learning how to jump Freckles

Jenna learning how to jump Freckles

“I was wondering if I could sign my daughter up for lessons?” her mother asked.
“Has she ever ridden before?” I asked.
“Yes, at another farm, but my daughter used to love horses and riding and now she does not want to go. I am really concerned. The girls there are not nice to my daughter,” the mother explained.

If there is something I can say with full confidence- We are a Farm that supports each other. No mean girls here. I will not put up with it. I will ask riders to leave if they try to build factions or put others down. We are a farm that shows love to all and failure to do so results in swift repercussions.

I always evaluate riders before I put them with an instructor or in a lesson. I want to see what they know, how they handle themselves, and what they can do on a horse.

Jenna came with a big smile, but she was nervous and unsure of herself. She would almost shake if the horse looked at something, giving me an indication that she was afraid. She was on my placid, super sweet Pumpkin and one thing he will do is catch his rider. There was nothing to fear on the back of this beautiful Quarter Horse. She did not know how to work with the horse, her actions were forced and her breathing was fragmented showing me that she was facing a giant burden of fear.

I decided that she should ride on our wonderful, comfy couch Milkshake and take instruction from Miss Tori. Jenna fell in love with Miss Tori and with Milkshake. Within three months, this little girl went from fearful to showing Milkshake. She now jumps and canters. Jenna has conquered her fear because she has learned to trust in a famous four legged pal and a beautiful trainer that has a heart of gold.

Cleaning tack before the horse show, Jenna looked up at me and said, “Never fear, GOD is here!”

She has learned more about life, love, friends, and riding because she conquered a mountain of fear. Great job Jenna, our job has been fulfilled- you learned the most valuable lesson of all- that With God ALL things are possible!

Hey have you ever had to conquer a mountain of fear? Did you ever lose your confidence about something you loved? Please share!

Want to learn more about the farm that God built? Join our FB pages on ANYTHINGFORHORSEANDRIDER AND RAISEYOURDREAMSFARM and read more about this farm. I promise, you will be encouraged after reading each post!

Please support us by posting horses, unwanted tack, or your horse related business. Thanks!


21 Jul

The middle fence rails were out, this means one thing, my pony, Buttons is out. Panic set in.   It was only 5:00 in the morning. I had to go to work, now I had a real problem on my hands, Buttons was gone.  I turned on the lights in the feed room and discovered that there had been a slaughter of every edible thing.  That included dry bran mash, supplements for joints, horse treats, cat food, and who knows what else. 

Immediately, my panicked voice split the morning air with a plaintive call for Buttons.  No sound, only whinnies from my other disgruntled horses that their feed time was being interrupted by this very bad pony. 

I walked into the fields exploring the turn out sheds, there he was. Apparently, he let himself out and when he was spent from gorging, he let himself back in.

His swollen belly told me that he was in trouble.  Immediately, I grabbed Banamine and gave him a dose.  I was somewhat worried about him. He was not looking too perky or happy with himself. He was showing no outward signs of collicking, but I discernrf his discomfort.

Then, as God always does, He showed me an idea to solve the problem.  I grabbed one of the feed sacks and tied it to the tree.  Then I grabbed the portly pony, and walked him by the tree.  The wind flapped the bag and he bolted forward and then stopped and stared at this very scary scene.  He snorted and then lifted his tail and promptly pooped. 

Here is my plea- free pony.  His name is Buttons, he likes to escape, enjoys early morning feed binges, will bite your butt if you don’t keep your eye on him, loves to be squirted with the hose on hot days, enjoys playing long and hard with the other horses, he is extremely intelligent, and loves to be ridden.  Though he is portly, he jumps carefully and well.  He is a handful for an inexperienced rider, but he does not have a bad bone in him. He is ornery and enjoys “trying” out his rider to see what he can get away with.  He loves baths, grooming, and EATING!!  He has been known to eat snow cones, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Cheetos, Doritos, Ginger Snaps, Coke, cookies, and a peach. 

What do you think, should I give him away?

The Farm That Faith Built

12 Jul

Prayer before we ride.  It is asking God to take us to our destiny.

Prayer before we ride. It is asking God to take us to our destiny.

Do you have a desire that seems to be halted? Does everything seem like an uphill battle and you are weary of the travel? I am here to encourage you and build you up.

I never wanted anything except to someday own a horse. It seemed impossible especially when your mother works in a Children’s Hospital and sees the effect of what horses can do. As an adult, working as a teacher and making a pittance seemed impossible too. But I kept at it. Food was a luxury, horses were a necessity.

I just want you to never give up on your dreams. Trust that if God gave you a desire, He wants you to achieve it too. He gave you that dream because He knew if you could hold on and persevere, then it would become a reality.

This is what I learned:
1. Pray without ceasing about your dream/goal.
2. Ask God to show you ways to make your dream become a reality.
3. PREPARE- read every book, talk to everyone that has what you want, purchase items that pertain to your dream to keep you focused, and do everything that you need to do to be ready for your goal.
4. Be ready for the nay sayers- there will be many. Like the story of the crabs in the bucket, people will try to pull you down because others feel uncomfortable around people that are determined against all odds. Know that some people you will have to cut out of your life because they will drag you down.
5. Right before you get your dream, you will go through trials and difficulties that will make you want to give up. It is just a test- God is trying and refining you. Hang in, you are going THROUGH it, you will not be stuck there.

I hope this helped. I want others to believe that God is no respector of a person. What He did for me, He WILL do for you.

Share your story about how you got your goal/dream/desire. I would love to hear about it.

Milkshake, the Special Pony

4 Jul

“Dan, this pony is so ugly.  I am afraid the kids will get scared,” I complained to my husband on the end of the line.

“I feel that God is impressing to me that you should go ahead and buy him,” he said.

My husband knows nothing about horses, he just puts up with them because he loves me.  I was on a horse hunting spree to help teach riding lessons, and I landed at this farm with one ugly pony.

The woman who was selling him was a horse dealer.  She told me that he did not like to canter and she told me a price I could not refuse.  With that, I took this ugly large pony home with me, unsure of his future.  He certainly was not a horse that I would have chosen, if it had not been my husband insisting that I purchase him.

We always re-name all horses and ponies that come here and there was quite excitement over what his name should be.  The kids, parents, and instructors came up with great names, but one of my autistic children came up with the perfect name- Milkshake.

Milkshake is a Pony of America.  He is white with small black specks throughout his coat.  Hence the name Milkshake was perfect.

Milkshake had a larger than life attitude.  He was strong and he would just bulge at his shoulder and my students were too weak to discipline him.  So all of the instructors and myself were constantly on him and working out his many kinks.

As time went by, he became accustomed to this spoiled life.  Carrots with the tops on, apples drizzled with molasses, warm bran mash in the winter, fans in the stalls in the summer, and a growing fan club that just adored him.  He learned to jump, and he did it quite well.  His trot is so smooth, that a rider can sit or post, either one is comfortable and smooth.  His canter is so slow and rhythmic that he teaches all beginners.  But his most endearing quality is that he is so versatile.  He changes to meet each one of his riders and their needs.  For beginners, he is very slow, waiting for the correct aids to direct him.  For advanced riders, he will jump a course of 2’6″ with a flying lead change.

We took him to a show, and we were uncertain as to how he would act, but he was a professional.  He even lined up to face the judge.  He was smart, capable, and caring.  He was and is the perfect lesson horse.  Though I think he is perfect, I did not know that he was gathering a fan club outside of my farm too.  The show world was noticing him too.  He even won “Horse of the Horse Show” because of his versatility.  That’s when I would hear whisperings from other competitors that Milkshake was here.  Offers for me to sell him to their children started pouring in, but I would tell them that Milkshake was not for sale.

Milkshake is a pony that has too much personality.  Yesterday I was cleaning out the tack room and I had Milkshake in the riding ring, because he is on a diet.  That’s why I was shocked when I turned around and there he was, in the tack room with me.  He kept nudging me to itch his scratchy spot- he has many, and to pay attention to him. 

This sums up Milkshake perfectly, a true people lover because I thinks that he really does believe that he is a person and not a pudgy white pony.

Do you have a pony or horse that has a little too much personality?  Please Share, I LOVE your comments!

Remember, you probably have what others are looking for.  Sell your unused tack, riding apparel, stable equipment, etc. on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com and make some money and help out Raise Your Dreams Farm.  Thanks!Image

Hope Has Four Legs

1 Jul

Tyler rides his favorite pony, Quest.  Timmy is his favorite side walker.

Tyler rides his favorite pony, Quest. Timmy is his favorite side walker.

“If he does not start walking by September, the school insists that Tyler go into a wheelchair, I do not want that to happen. Can you help me?” she choked back tears.

April, Tyler’s mom, had heard about the great results of equine therapy. She already had physical, occupational, and speech therapists working with her son and none of these therapies were helping him as rapidly as she would like if her son was to walk by September. She was desperate for something that would work quickly.

“I know equine therapy will help. I cannot guarantee anything, but I would like to say with assurance that equine therapy encourages children to walk. I would like to meet you and your son,” I said. We set up a meeting for the following day.

An entourage pulled up, his grandparents, therapists, and friends of the family. April held up little Tyler. He was beautiful with blonde curls, deep blue eyes, and chubby little legs. Timmy picked him up and held him. Then Tyler grabbed onto Timmy’s hand. Timmy walks and talks because he is a product of what equine therapy can do. Like Tyler he could not walk or talk. His parents enrolled him in equine therapy and that’s when, “he got his legs underneath of him.” I told the story of Timmy’s equine therapy experience and I saw a tear escape from under the dark glasses.

It has been three months since Tyler has started equine therapy. During that time his core strength has become so solid that he can sit up on the horse. He can sit up on the horse and correct his balance without the assistance of the side walkers. He lifts his legs to go around the pony. He even high fives all of us. He walks through the grass with bare feet, something he could not tolerate until equine therapy. Today he crawls, pulls himself up, stands up, sits up from a lying position, and is interested in animals, especially the family dog. All of these behaviors were not seen until he started equine therapy.

We are still three months away from school starting and I do believe that he will be walking. The power of the horse conquered foreign lands, built ancient societies, and now the noble horse carries the weakest to fields of greatness.

Check out Tyler’s progress on Anything for Horse and Rider Facebook. There is actually a video of him walking with his gait trainer.

Do you know of anyone that was changed by a horse? Please share!

Teachings from Timmy

16 Jun

Timmy is always teaching me something new.

Timmy is always teaching me something new.

More lessons learned from Timmy.
Here is what I have learned so far:
1. Be nice to everyone.
2. Bring gifts, especially chocolate cupcakes, cookies that you bake, or candy bars. If you can’t bring any food, pick some fresh wild flowers.
3. Smile.
4. Be helpful without being asked. Just look for ways to help. There are a million ways to be helpful just watch for opportunities.
5. Tell someone that you are their buddy and wrap your arms around them.
6. Do man’s work if you are a man and woman’s work if you are a woman, that way you won’t get too tired.
7. Get a happy meal at McDonalds and play with the toy.
8. Be thankful for everything!
9. Pick up after yourself.
10. Enjoy each day because this is the day the LORD has made, be glad and rejoice in it.

Post your unused tack, horses/ponies, or horse related business on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com and help more children.


Equine Therapy is Like Relaxing on a Couch

13 Jun

Equine Therapy is Like Relaxing on a Couch

Katie relaxes on Quest after a hard equine therapy session!

Hope and Equine Therapy

10 Apr

A woman reached out to me recently.  Her two year old was not walking, not crawling, not creeping, not reaching, not speaking.  She had tried all of the traditional therapies.  Someone told her about my farm, Raise Your Dreams, and that some pretty remarkable things happened when a child got on a horse.

We arranged a time for her to come out and meet me and the staff.  Her child was a small angel wrapped in beautiful golden hair, crystal blue expressive eyes, and a tiny compact body with translucent skin.  We sat him on the pony and slowly we walked holding him up in an upright position.  Unable to sit up on his own, we encouraged him to hold onto the handles on the surcingle.  Slowly he grasped the hanles.  Then he pulled himself up.  Gradually his leaning diminished and he was sitting by himself on a tiny, fluffy pony named Quest.

The next day in his play pen, he creeped.  His mom thought that it was probably a figment of her imagination.  She studied him carefully.  He did it again. 

Yesterday they came for their therapy session and his mother said my son creeped.  He actually scooted his bottom to reach his toy.

Another mother overhearing this conversation said that her daughter did not start talking until she started equine therapy.  I was in the midst of hearing the miracles that are performed on the backs of horses and ponies.  Children speak, creep, and become “fixed” by the melodic hoof beats, the gentle rocking of the pelvis, and the belief that GOD can do anything.

Who would have known that my love of horses and children would lead to doing work that God loves, healing the broken hearted.  Thank you!

Do you know anyone that was healed by a horse?  Please share, I love your comments!

Your’re FIRED!

7 Apr

It happened yesterday.  I was fired.  Not let down easily, but told that I have been replaced by someone much better.  You may wonder, how does the owner of a farm get fired?  Easily, one of my students fired me.  His name is Jacob and I have written in the past about Jacob on my blog.  He is quite a colorful fixture at the farm.  Jacob has one goal, to someday be an instructor at this farm.  The problem, he is scared to death of going any faster than a walk on a horse.

One of my instructors, Tori, brought her mom to the farm.  At one time, her mother, Eileen, was an elite equestrian, showing throughout the country, teaching, and managing her own horses at her home.  At first Eileen was walking around the ring aimlessly when I encouraged Eileen to help with the lessons.  Her face lit up, she would love to help out she told me.  She had been rather despondent over the passing of her mother and Tori thought it would be a good idea for her to come out and soak up the fresh air, the excitement of the students, and of course to watch the beautiful horses.

Tori was backed up with lessons and so was I.  That’s when Eileen, always the consummate professional stepped up to the plate and volunteered to take the next student, Jacob. 

Off Jacob went with Milkshake and Miss Eileen to the round pen.  He came back glowing.  He was so excited that he said that he had just experienced the best lesson.  No one could teach like Miss Eileen, he said.  Miss Eileen got him over the fear of trotting.  He trotted four times around my 60 foot round pen.  This was monumental for Jacob.  Judging by the look on her face it was monumental to her too.  I saw a tear escape from under her dark sunglasses.  Jacob patted her shoulder.  She hugged him and he hugged her.  They shared what few experience in this world, a mutual respect.  He respected her for instilling in him confidence to do what he thought was impossible.  She respected him because she learned that she still has the love to inspire others to become their best.

Thanks Eileen for helping out.  I believe you were hired by Jacob!  I will see you Saturday!

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