Tag Archives: Christian

Fuzzy and Three Angels

28 May

She was a handful, and then she discovered horses. Her behavior was so disturbing she went to a special school. Her mother had heard about equine therapy and that is how I came to know her.

She promptly fell in love with Fuzzy, a QH with an attitude. He was definitely not an equine therapy horse. After much begging and pleading I promised her an opportunity to ride him if she got a 100 on her behavior chart at school. Up to this point she was getting at most a 60. I was confident that Fuzzy would not be in her near future.

I was sure she would never get a 100, but that week she did. I had to hold my end of the bargain.

That Saturday I tacked up Fuzzy, praying for a miracle. Had I just set up this young girl to get hurt? I was sick to my stomach.

She came bouncing and jumping and yelling. Her excitement was too much to contain. Remarkably she quieted as she sat in the saddle and Fuzzy was a perfect horse. We did posting trot, sitting, standing in the stirrups and holding her balance in transitions. She was spectacular and so was this usually very naughty Quarter Horse.

Pushing my luck, we decided to do a lap of my property. As soon as we got out of the ring he leapt in the air and reared to gather leaves from the tree in our back yard.

I don’t lose my composure, but I did this time. I screamed for her to hold on! Helplessly I had to wait until Fuzzy came down on his own. Turning Fuzzy could have resulted in him falling and it seemed like an eternity until he came down. She grabbed mane and did everything explicitly.

Finally, he came down and that’s when she looked at me and said “Miss Jill, I don’t know why you are so upset, there were three angels keeping me on Fuzzy the whole time. As soon as they saw that I was safe they left me.”

Well, we do pray for God to protect our riders! Silly me, I should have known, God had sent His divine angels!

Thanks God! You always have all of our backs!

Please help us serve childen that cannot afford equine therapy and desperately need it. Just post your unused tack, clothing, horse related business, etc. on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com.

Hey LIKE us on http://www.facebook/anythingforhorseandrider.com!

The Employee of the Month is……………………………

5 May

 

Bradley with horse capturing equipment, feed, halters, and lead lines!

Bradley with horse capturing equipment, feed, halters, and lead lines!

Bradley!

Woodstown, NJ is a small farming community located in southern Salem County. It is where I bought my horse farm, and it is here that I have learned that your best friends come in all sizes and shapes.

Bradley works at the local feed store, Ice and Coal, because that’s what it provided when the town was first established. It is here that you can find livestock feed, paint, gourmet chocolates, and baby chicks. Conversation flows easily, thanks to Doug, the owner. He has his hand on the pulse of the community. It is here that you are called by your first name, or for the older folks, by their surnames with respect.

You cannot be in a rush to pick up your supplies; surely, there will be a rich conversation that draws you in to the warmth embrace of a family here at Ice and Coal. It is not beyond Doug to stop by to see how you are if he has not seen you in a while. One day, I was short on feed and I called to see if they were still open. They had just closed. Doug reassured me that the feed would be waiting for me on the dock. “Pay me later!” he said.

This is the place that I found comfort in being a “farmer” with the older folks that astound me with their wisdom and colorful stories. The workers have worked there for thirty and forty years telling stories of the old times, when farmers would deliver their corn and oats to be made into horse and cow feed. They are strong and healthy from lifting hundred pound sacks of grain, fencing supplies, and hay.

Bradley is unlike his peers. He is frequently found under his tractor. Strength and wisdom is in his heart. Though he is a senior in high school, many people frequently mistake him for being older. Bradley is my neighbor, this is defined by living within five miles of me, and he has done a few small jobs at my farm. He has plowed my fields, fixed my tractor, and now that he works at Ice and Coal, loads up my truck with horse feed, treats, salt licks, bran mash, and whatever else I need.

That’s why I was shocked when he flew down my driveway. I knew there was something wrong, and I quickly met him outside.

“Jill, horses are loose at the end of the road! I don’t know whose they are, but I figured you could help me capture them!” At the end of the road is a very busy road for this farming community and it could be disastrous. Horses loose on this road could mean death to the surprised drivers.

I grabbed feed, halters, lead ropes and grabbed my keys. We both climbed into my very crowded truck. We drove to the end of the road and found three very upset horses. We captured them and Bradley walked them back to their farm with me. As we walked, I started asking him about his knowledge of horses and that’s when he said he was not all that familiar with them, he just wanted to help.
Maybe that’s why I think he should be Employee of the Month! He goes above and beyond what is expected of him. How refreshing to know this young man is not afraid to help others, even those that he does not know.

By the way, he was very late to school that day, but I think it should be excused; it is not every day that someone gets to rescue countless lives!
Bradley, you are an outstanding young man! Thanks for always keeping a cool mind and doing what is right!

Need a horse, riding equipment, tack, etc.???  Find it on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com!

WHERE ARE THE PONIES?

4 Mar

Where are the poniesThis winter will go on the books for breaking hundred year old records for being the coldest, snowiest, and most destructive. That meant no lessons for our riders at Raise Your Dreams Farm. It was not a fun time for the students or the ponies.

How did you make out this winter?

You Go, Jac!

10 Nov
There is nothing better than friends.  Jacob is to the right.

There is nothing better than friends. Jacob is to the right.

He struggled all of his life. Unable to read social cues, he was ostrasized by his peers. Rigid in his thinking, led to fights and altercations which started him on a path he did not want to travel.

In school he was classified as being on the Autism Spectrum and given a one-on-one aide to guide and lead him to success in the classroom.

His mother was constantly seeking innovative therapies to help her only son. She heard about equine therapy and its success with children that had difficulty with social situations. It was at this time that his mother registered her son to receive equine therapy at Raise Your Dreams Farm, located in Southern NJ.

It was here that I met Jacob. Every moment at the farm was structured and he was given specific tasks, which he carried out with precision. Slowly, he was seen as a great helper, and the other students would go to him for advice or help with their horse. He slowly gained confidence and a knack with the horses and ponies. It was here that he set noble goals and each one was met with thunderous applause. He got a facebook page and became friends with the other students at the farm. He learned to negotiate the nuisances of teenagerhood with the help and assistance of these friends. They would fist pump and high five each other over their accomplishments on the horses. Jacob learned valuable lessons that helped him to acclimate to the high school.

Today Jacob is declassified and this fall he was nominated for the Homecoming Court, voted on by his peers.

This may seem impossible, but for Jacob, he has one answer for his success, Raise Your Dreams Farm. It is here that he learned how to be a friend and how to have friends. Horses are the great equalizer and they taught him patience, love, forgiveness, and goal setting. Jacob has been given the coveted position as an Assistant Instructor, which he has taken quite seriously. He schools other students and has developed an instructor’s eye to fine tune the rider’s position. He has become a valuable member of this farm and it has blessed him as much as he has blessed us.

Would you like to support Raise Your Dreams Farm? It is very easy- just post a horse, tack, unwanted riding apparel on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com. Through your posting, you will support this farm and all of the work done here.

Want to follow the riders here? Go to Raise Your Dreams Farm FB page or Anything for Horse and Rider FB page.

What? I Cannot Do That!

2 Sep

“What do you mean, I have to change my life style?” I asked with tears involuntarily forming in my eyes.

“Jill, you are a human, not a supernatural character.  You have to take it slower, much slower,” my doctor continued to click on the computer keys our conversation.  It had to be documented.  I was warned, he had protocol to follow, and I would need to accept his conclusion.

I left the office defeated. An apple asked to change its purpose, water not allowed to roam free, or a horse never allowed to gallop- I was truly trapped.

How does one change their life style like a flick of the switch. I could not turn off this light. It burned too deeply.  I could not have heard worst news then the dreaded C word.  My life was in danger and it needed to be changed.

I had to work less, de-stress, smell the roses, eat better, and find joy instead of trouble.  How could I lighten a load that I knew would be too much for anyone else to do, until my instructors suggested that they do  the scheduling of their lessons.  Then I had friends offering to feed the horses in the morning, then my students were coming over to clean the stalls, and I found my heart brimming with joy.  My load had been lightened with no work on my part.

They carried my burden and for that I am not only eternally grateful, but considerably more healthy.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Do you need a life style change? Try to smell those roses.  Delegate your work load. Give up that control and let others help you carry the burden you were never supposed to carry in the first place!

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One Easy Breezy Step to Break All Horses

28 Jun

Bomb proof your horses with one easy step.

Bomb proof your horses with one easy step.

Take a horse, then lay across their back. Then ask the riding instructor for a TV remote and a tall glass of iced tea. Just lay back and relax.

By the way, I would not recommend this training style for any horse. It just happens to work at our farm.

By the way, the black horse on the left is Hershey, a young Thoroughbred.

Really? The Featured Article?

27 Jun

Featured Story in Woodbury and West Deptford Life

Featured Story in Woodbury and West Deptford Life

Featured Article in Woodbury and West Deptford Life Magazine

Featured Article in Woodbury and West Deptford Life Magazine


Feature Story in July edition of Woodbury/West Deptford Life Magazine

Feature Story in July edition of Woodbury/West Deptford Life Magazine

Raising Dreams

23 Jun

He was a tall, distinguished man.  He drove to the barn in a beautiful European sports car.  He was impeccably dressed and he insisted on hiring grooms to handle his horses.  He had five.  He loved to fox hunt and he would drive to the location of the hunt and someone would be there to meet him with the horse of his choosing.

That’s why I was shocked to see him at the barn at six o’clock in the morning.  He had khaki’s and a polo shirt.  He had pulled a cap on his head and I hardly recognized him.  He came to the ring and was watching me ride.  A perpetual early bird, riding first thing in the morning is always the best way to start off any day.  He stood at the rail and watched me riding.  I pulled up and we exchanged pleasantries.  He told me that he had bought yet another horse.  I was surprised.  He shared that he would like to have that special relationship that he saw so many of the riders had with their horses.  He then said that watching me ride made him envious, it seemed that we were one with each other.

Fearful that I would offend him, I offered my observations about what he was looking for.  He was searching for a relationship with his horses.  That every good horse person I understands that it is only established through the good, bad, hard, easy, enlightening, frustrating rides on a horse.  It is grooming your horse and handing over carrots with their tops on, peeled apples, and molasses drizzled on ginger snaps.  It is riding with persistence and determination to be a team, a partner with the horse, and that anything short of that hard work will never lead to a relationship that will be unlike any other.

He looked at me quizzically.  It was an epiphany.  No one had explained it to him like that.  A horse was like one of his cars.  Boredom or lack of a connection lead him to exchange horses.  He asked if I would help him to understand horses better.

Are you on the verge of giving up on a project, horse, friend, relationship, horse, pony, etc.?  Consider the lessons missed, the relationship building, and a deeper character being formed. 

Be inspired, full of hope, claim your prize-  Believe.  I believe and know that you are an overcomer.  Trust not in yourself, but in God Almighty.  Ask Him to show the lessons that need to be learned and most importantly ask that you are always willing to do what is hard- change.

Check out Raise Your Dreams Farm Facebook.  See our special children riding, overcoming, and becoming empowered on a horse.

Want to help more special children and adults? Please post your unwanted tack, riding apparel, horse related items, etc.  Selling a horse or a pony? Consider posting on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com.

 

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth  Proverbs 10:4Image

Problem Solved!

26 Jan
Tom working hard to carry the American Flag at the Opening Ceremony at Cowtown Rodeo

Tom working hard to carry the American Flag at the Opening Ceremony at Cowtown Rodeo

Tom has one dream. The dream? To ride a horse while carrying the American Flag during the Opening Ceremony at the Cowtown Rodeo.

To most people this would not mean too much, but to him, it is everything. It represents climbing out of a valley so deep and wide that most would be engulfed in depression and debilitating self pity. On a beautiful day, his freedom was taken from him by a drunk driver. He was pronounced dead at the scene, but Tom is not any ol’ man. He is one built on a foundation of determination, stubborn rebellion against the norm, and a love of all things fast.

In the hospital, he was told that he would never walk. He defied the doctors and walked. He was told he would never ride a bike, he bikes to the beach (a 100 mile trek). He was told that riding a horse may build his balance and strength. He came to my farm to ride. His dream is to gallop with abandon to the thundering applause during the National Anthem at the Cowtown Rodeo. He rides Pumpkin, who has one speed, super slow. He takes care of Tom, adjusting his body to meet the off balance movements that Tom sometimes involuntarily makes. We now trot. Only two “gears” away from a gallop. We are on our way. I start thinking that this could be a possibility.

I throw caution to the wind and call Cowtown Rodeo. I get the office and the daughter of the owner. She tells me that her father would have to approve it. She would discuss it with him. I hear nothing.

I am not daunted. I am fighting for Tom. As God would have it, the day I go to Cowtown, I park right next to the owner who happens to be getting out of his truck at the same time that I am getting out of mine. Boldly, I step up and introduce myself. He tips his Cowboy hat at me and says that he knows who I am. I tell him the story about Tom. Tears well in my eyes involuntarily. I apologize for my tears, I am so emotional, so hopeful that he will give this man an opportunity that will help him accomplish a dream, to defy what everyone said that he could not do.

He nods his head, “Yes, I think it will be ok if Tom opens the Rodeo.”

I grab his hand, then put my arms around his broad shoulders and tell him that this is a true gift and I am truly appreciative. He tells me that his office will be in touch.

Three months later, I get a call from a woman that says she wants to meet me. She has heard about my farm and the work that is done here. She runs the Cowboy Church. I am excited. During our conversation, I share that we will be doing the opening ceremony at Cowtown with Tom holding the American Flag. She tells me that she is the one that organizes the opening ceremony. Is that God again, giving us exactly what we need. The contact is there and she assures me that she will take care of us.

Pumpkin is a Quarter Horse with the kindest, sweetest nature of any horse I have ever known. He loves being scratched on his belly and loves being groomed by the girls. Unfortunately, he has a somewhat checkered past with hints of abuse. His face is malformed from a halter being too tight. He hates applause of any kind. He is also scared to death of loud noises. I have a big problem. How am I going to get this horse used to the Rodeo and safe enough to carry Tom?

Problem solved by God. I get a call from the woman that organizes the opening ceremony. She would like to give me her horse to use in the ceremony because he is an old hand at it and will take care of Tom.

I got off the phone, bowed my head as tears streamed down my face. God, You are so GREAT!! You care about the smallest things that are sometimes big.

Are you facing a challenge that you are not sure you can handle? Give it ALL to God. He loves you. Hand it over and watch God at work.

Need prayer? Need encouragement? Please respond. I PROMISE I will pray that God will show up and give you a solution that you know is right from Him. Then you can be assured that the problem is solved.

Great Pyrenees, Great Love

27 Dec

We had just lost our wolf-hybrid, Vision.  He was quite the character, always full of fun and adventure.  He was the consummate watch dog.  There were times that he would shoo off  questionable characters that sometimes frequent the rural area of New Jersey.  He was white with yellow eyes and most people were fearful of his looks.  He was gentle as a lamb with children and those that he trusted, and now we had the unpleasant task of trying to find a dog that could replace Vision.  We have two labs, though they would spring into action if needed, but they did not watch the farm like Vision did. 

One day while watching Animal Planet we came across a dog that seemed to fit what we were looking for, a guard dog that would be gentle enough to handle all of the children that come here.  We found it in the Great Pyrenees breed.  We bought two male puppies off of  the internet.  I have never bought a dog in my life, much less one on the internet.  I was always the one that was always saving  dogs from the pound.july2012 013 The two puppies came to us as little fluff balls.  If anyone knows Great Pyrenees puppies, they will agree, there is nothing as cute as them.

Now they are four years old.  They are the guardian watchers of the farm.  They are the first to greet all that come to the farm.  They are eye level with most car windows and they are not below licking the windows in anticipation of the visitor’s pat.  My farm is the equine therapy center for the Salem Center for Autism, and many of the children come very excited.  They do not leave that way.  They ride and then usually sit on the ground for the dogs to then sit on them.  It is quite a sight.  I did not teach them to do that, they just sense the need for the student to have their sensory needs to be met.  They are too happy to oblige.

Do you have a dog or dogs that have special traits?  Please share!

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