June and August were not only busy months at the rescue, they were also the months that we held one of our fundraisers, Pony Club, at a nearby farm. Children ages 5-12 years could attend lessons for a nominal fee due to the staff being mostly volunteers. My friend Sarah K. stressed that you didn’t need to know a lot about horses and she would train us prior to the start of Pony Club, so I was game. This proved another great outlet for me to deal with the stress I was experiencing in my personal life.
As the title hints, there were many surprises that came out of this experience and it may not be what you think.
My 6 and 9 year-old nieces love horses as much as I do, especially the oldest, Hailey. I am grateful I was able to share this experience with them, which renewed my spirit each week. It was so rewarding to see their confidence grow as they progressed through the class.
Another one of my “family” members attended Pony Club also. Jackson is a close family friend who has Prader–Willi syndrome. Jackson was able to benefit from the physical activities such as grooming and riding. The smile on his face says everything.
Here is where the real surprise enters in. The host farm has been owned by some of the strongest women I have ever met. I am not only referring to their physical strength, but their character.
The owner of the farm, who I believe is the fourth generation to own the farm, travels the world with an organization, whose mission is to save women and children from terrorists and unfathomable situations. Yes, a real live hero that grew up in a very small town, on a small farm, is traveling the world saving people. You won’t catch her bragging about her occupation however. She is one of the most humble people you will ever meet. She shared some of the experiences only when prompted by her soft-spoken mother. The few stories I heard will stick with me for life and could easily be made into a movie.
Our main instructor was the grandmother of this family. A natural teacher, who used a great deal of humor to teach the content. She personally taught me a lot about the upkeep of horses, tack and barn chores. Most importantly, I learned that she too has experienced great loss, as well as cancer. Yet, she has managed to rise above it all.
The great-granddaughter, who also volunteered her time and talents to the club, is a preschool teacher attending college to become a child and family advocate. This beautiful young woman is just a doll and is immediately liked by every one she meets. She developed a wonderful rapport with the children and parents.
I went into Pony Club thinking that I would help children have a positive first experience with horses while raising money for the rescue. I came out blessed by the time spent with the people and horses of Pony Club. I will be forever grateful.
subscribe to the frugalgram
Subscribe to our weekly frugalgram to receive the latest frugal tips to your inbox
Your information is protected and will not be shared.