Tag Archives: equine therapy

Zelda Does the Impossible!

10 Jun

She dreamed of one thing, to someday ride a horse. Weakness on her left side paralyzed her body from ever sitting on a horse.

Today Zelda learned that WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

She rode Buttons around the ring twice, her body strengthening and straightening with each powerful stride.

Zelda, you are AMAZING!

God, you will never cease to astound me!

Thanks Bobbi for bringing her here! Kelsey your love and compassion is so evident! Briah, you encouraged and helped without being asked, because you just love all people! Beth you are spectacular for always giving of your time, energy and love! Thanks to ALL!

Hey, want to help others?  Please post your unwanted tack, clothing, riding equipment, trailers, etc. on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com!

Thanks!

Zelda and the perfect Buttons!

Zelda and the perfect Buttons!

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Two Miles to Thanksgiving

7 Jun
God is in every circumstance!

God is in every circumstance!

There is nothing better than a horseback ride after a long hard week. I decided to ride by myself through the country side and I found myself singing terribly off key songs to my beloved horse, Raise Your Dreams. He did not care, he was being ridden by me, his absolute most favorite human in the whole world.

I allowed the reins to slip through my hands and I was barely holding them with one hand. We heard a crash through the woods and a man appeared out into the open. His dishelved appearance and look on his face revealed a character that was not friendly but evil. My horse did what he does best- spun.

Whack! I hit the ground with the very shoulder that had just been surgically repaired for my torn rotator cuff. I could only feel excruciating pain. I laid on the ground writhing. My horse stood over me and made threatening gestures. I told the man that my horse would attack him, and with that he left.

I got up and my arm dangled limply by my side. I just had the clearance to ride and now I had undone surgery and months of physical therapy. I was mad!

I am ashamed to admit it- but mad at God.

“How could you allow me to fall? You are God! You could have prevented this!” I was screaming through my tears. My horse followed me, lowering his head. He was upset too.

“How can I thank you? For what? A fall? How am I supposed to be thankful in EVERYTHING?”

We were two miles away from the barn. It was a good thing. I needed that time to wrestle with God.

Once in the barn, I untacked my horse with one arm. I stood in the aisle, lonely, ashamed at my reaction to this fall. I was upset for yeling at God.

Then I heard an internal voice that was God, “I could have broken your neck!”

Once this realization hit me, I started to praise the LORD like never before!  It took two miles to walk back to the barn.  Within those two miles I had learned that being thankful in every circumstance is not easy, but necessary!  God is always doing His best for us and our circumstances.

Later I realized that God had used the circumstance to show His healing power and might.  He miraculously healed me in the hospital, witnessed by many doctors and nurses!

GOD’S Word says, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Have you ever been in a circumstance that seemed to break your heart and spirit?  Then God turned it all around and you were full of thanksgiving!  Please share- it encourages all that read it!!

Spring Schooling Horse Show

3 Jun
Our proud riders

Our proud riders

It is the Spring Schooling Horse Show. Excitement hangs in the air. Children, parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts gather at the fence and watch their riders in the riding ring.

Ribbons adorn the bridles of our ever patient horses and ponies. Parents snap pictures proudly of their child’s accomplishments. Other riders hug each other and high five the winners. It is a moment suspended in time.
The last class of the show is the long awaited, Down and Out. Usually this is jumped by horses, but this is a growing year at Raise Your Dreams Farm and we have chosen to conduct this class on the two feet of our riders. They have been practicing each time they come, especially Timmy. He is up to three feet.

Check out Alena in the Down and Out Competition.  Check out her huge cheering section!

Check out Alena in the Down and Out Competition. Check out her huge cheering section!

Down and Out is when the rider (or in our case, the student) goes over a vertical. Each time they go over the jump, it is raised until it is either touched, falls down, or unable to clear it. In our Down and Out we have increased the incentive by giving half of the purse. There is nothing sweeter in a teenager’s pocket than some cold cash.

It is down to the last four jumpers. Timmy, Jacob, Jenna, and Emily are accomplished jumpers. Jacob and Timmy are best friends. Jenna and Emily are best friends too. They encourage each other. Then Emily falls into the jump. She is down. They pick her up.

Emily being picked up after falling in the Down and Out Class

Emily being picked up after falling in the Down and Out Class

Next up is Timmy, he crashes into it too. Jacob is trying to psyche himself up and he is encouraging the crowd to chant, “Jake! Jake! Jake!” He crashes into it.

Timmy showing his skills!

Timmy showing his skills!

 

 

It is down to Jenna. If she jumps this, she will be the winner! She backs up for the final sprint. The crowd starts chanting for Jenna, changing their allegiance.

Jenna and her winning jump!

Jenna and her winning jump!

 

Jenna flies over it, her blonde hair swinging in the wind. Her beautiful face set in determination. She lands in perfect balance- she is the undisputed winner.

That’s when a parent walks over and tells me what she overheard.

“Timmy threw the competition. He wanted his best friend to win. I overheard him tell the others that he was going to purposely knock it down so that Jacob could win,” she placed her hand on my arm and smiled. “You have amazing students here!”

We have amazing students here. They are only out to do one thing- to make others look better than they do. They don’t want to win if it will help another that deserves a win. What an amazing place Raise Your Dreams Farm has become!

Hey can you help us out? Post your unwanted tack, clothing, riding apparel, etc. on the classified section on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com.  Thanks!  This site funds our little farm!

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!

Frosty Loves His Rest Stop and Hey Your Lap Is Pretty Good Too!

25 Mar

 

Frosty, our Great Pyrenees lap dog has a warm seat on Timmy.

Frosty, our Great Pyrenees lap dog has a warm seat on Timmy.

I Drive A Barn Truck

2 Feb
There is nothing better than a 5 foot woman driving a Barn Truck and enjoying every minute of it!

There is nothing better than a 5 foot woman driving a Barn Truck and enjoying every minute of it!

Owning a horse or a farm is a way of life. It is one that seeps into the soul. The priorities change dramatically from impeccable dress to functioning informal barn wear. With these changes come the most obvious. The cute sports car needs to be replaced with a full sized truck with the ability to haul 20 tons of horse flesh, tack, and trailer. Home and garage become necessary storing places for the overwhelming equipment needed for a horse, or in my case, horses.

Owning my farm for twelve years and horses for over twenty-five years, I have accumulated a massive amount of tack, clothing and equipment for my horses. I have accepted the term as clean to mean that there are only a few strands of hay floating through the house and dog slobber just gives the house character. I just never realized that my life style has consumed all of my life. When my mom suggested that we get together for lunch, I jumped at the chance to escape the farm and live in a world where people do not get up at 3:30 in the morning to feed the horses, where I can smell wafts of perfume, nails are polished, and beautiful jewelry sparkles in the sunlight.

I drove to my mom’s pristine beautiful home in northern Delaware. My mother is a lover of cleanliness and I grew up as a child in a museum. There was no such thing as dirty in the house. With four children we all had chores and we carried them out with synchronicity every Saturday morning under the watchful eye of my mother. You could eat off of the kitchen, basement and garage floors. Therefore my mother was very upset when I decided to forgo a pristine life for one of perpetual dirt, manure, horse hair, and chaos.

My mother climbed into my truck and took a look around. “How can you drive in this?” she was puzzled, how could the daughter that she had raised to wear Aignne designer boots, Talbot clothes, and Dooney and Bourke purses stoop to this level. What was even worse, I had dirt under my unpainted nails. My hair was tucked under a red baseball cap and I had not a stitch of make up on. We were going to catch lunch and I was going to drive.

“Mom, this is NOT dirty! I just cleaned it. I only have what I need,” I feigned that I was upset with her comment.

She reached into the back seat and grabbed a duffel bag that had whips, britches, a helmet, carrots, and an apple that was beginning to turn brown. Then she pulled the wool cooler off of the floor and a Raise Your Dreams Farm sweatshirt fell from beneath it. She grabbed leather reins and a brand new halter tangled on the floor. She held up the latest horse magazines from the pocket holder on the door under her handle. She started to hold all of these items on her lap.

I started to laugh. She frowned and told me that she was not finished. She reached onto the seat behind me and grabbed a few books that I had meant to give to my students, and then she held up a few ribbons left from the last horse show. My laughter was now uproarious; her frown was beginning to deepen from the impending weight on her lap. Next she glanced in the back of the truck bed and then she started to laugh. It was that type of laugh that tells you that someone is on the brink of breaking.

“Jill! You have two bags of cat food, a couple bags of grain, swimming trunks, water shoes, leadlines, thick ropes for tying hay down, and of course tufts of hay!” she exclaimed.

I shrugged my shoulders and held up my hands. I was guilty of driving a Barn Truck. Owning a horse farm means that one needs to get used to lowering their standards, my idea of clean was painstakingly obvious that it was not hers.

Do you have a barn car or truck? What is in it? What are the reactions of your family and friends when they go for a ride? Please share, we LOVE to hear what you have to say!

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