Tag Archives: friends

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.

It is Official- He is Now an Authentic Rider

23 Jul
Jacob is an authentic rider, ready to conquer any challenge!

Jacob is an authentic rider, ready to conquer any challenge!

June16, 2013 022
As soon as I walked up, I knew something was wrong. Jacob is our tour director, educator, helper, assistant, rider, and most importantly an encourager at the farm. So when I saw his sweat stained brow and dirt encrusted cheeks sitting in a chair sipping a bottle of water, I instantly knew that something was very wrong.

“I am fine!” was his greeting to me.

That’s when a cacophony of voices rose in one and told me that Jacob fell off of Milkshake.

“What happened?” I asked incredulously. Falling is not something I ever want a rider to experience, but it is a necessary rite of passage for all riders if they intend to be great riders.

Jacob is a special rider that has literally transformed himself from an angry, easily frustrated youth, to a gentle man that seeks to please others over himself. It is touching to see how this young man has gained strength, wisdom, love, kindness, joy, and peace through his discovery of what he could accomplish on the back of an opinionated Appaloosa pony named Milkshake.

He had just learned how to canter, a huge milestone for someone who was afraid to even trot. This transformed him into a confident rider that was ready to attempt jumping and cantering regularly.

When he was given an opportunity to have a free ride, he decided to perfect his canter. Milkshake was only too happy to oblige and that’s when it happened. He got off balance and realizing that he was slipping, he threw his leg over the saddle, pushed himself away from the galloping hooves and did an emergency dismount. He rolled away from the horse- textbook perfect. He was shaken, Milkshake was startled and stood over his good buddy. Everyone launched into action. Rider down. All hands on deck. Tori, the instructor was checking the damage, Eva was holding his hand, Rachel grabbed the horse, Megan was calming the other riders. The well oiled Raise Your Dreams Farm Team was reacting to their friend and fellow team mate, and when he got up all clapped as his mother shed a tear.

Eva held his hand and lead him out of the ring. He said he was not afraid to get back on, he just needed to sit awhile. That’s what happened prior to me getting to the riding ring.

“Jacob, it is official,” I said rubbing his shoulder.

“What, Miss Jill,” he said.

“You are now an authentic rider. There is not one great rider out there who has not had a fall. It just means that you are a true rider. Fair weather riders would just give up, but not you. I am proud of you Jac!”

I grabbed his hand and he grabbed mine. I knew then that Jacob has conquered a lot in his short life, but that day revealed the man he has become. I am glad Jacob rides at my farm, he has just demonstrated his character.

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