Lola has embraced the riders at Summit Equestrian Center for over 8 years. Her leadership of people & animals have helped us become kinder & more thoughtful, while keeping our sense humor & adventure.
You know those people you just click with? Conversations just seem to come easily & you feel comfortable just being yourself. That feeling of connection can be so comforting. That feeling is a skill you can build. Here at the barn we team up with our horses to practice building connected relationships. Working with the horses feels easier, especially at first. Then we bridge those experiences back to relationships with people. Even though Randy occasionally accuses me of doing my "horse stuff" on him, I have seen how applying these skills in the real world has made my relationships stronger & me more confident in my own skin.
Feature Story | Steve's Journey | From Iraq, to Wheelchair, to Rider
After serving two tour in Iraq, Steve came home in 2005 a different person. He found his passion in working with rescue horses. In 2006 he sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury that left the left side of his body paralyzed. When he first came to the barn he was in a wheelchair. Soon he graduated to a walker as his balance and strength improved. In riding, Steve was able to regain core strength, stretch and tone his body in ways traditional therapy could not. More than the physical healing though, he found a reason to leave the house each week. He found a community that he felt like he belonged to and accepted him for who he is, regardless of what his body can do...
Feature Story | Grace | Overcoming Anxiety
When we met Grace, she was a shy middle school girl with adorable blonde curls. Grace was born with Spina Bifita and has never been able to feel or control past her hips. We have been privileged to have been a part of her weekly routine since she started riding with us soon after we opened in 2010. We have watched her grow into a thoughtful and kind young woman who loves to challenge herself in her riding, often requesting we set up jumps or the barrels to help her improve her skills....
“To Gentle” - Gentling Wild Ponies
"To gentle" is a verb which means to take a horse from legit wild to being able to touch it with your hand, lead it, pick up its feet, get in & out of a trailer without it thinking you are a mountain lion trying to kill it. It’s a crazy powerful phase in working with untouched mustangs that brings to the surface every ounce of tension and impulsion in a person’s body for the horse to reflect. A wild horse is reliant on its instincts to stay alive. They have to know if the predator coming through their space is on the prowl for their next meal or has just eaten & is just passing through. The energy the predator projects can be felt by the wild horses before it is in sight, giving the horses a head start if needed...
The leap to incorporating an untouched mustang into our program was several years in the making. I (Allison) had always been intrigued by the herds of wild horses & had heard of the prisons that utilize mustangs in their programs. Then a local gal started working with mustangs & participating in mustang training contests. We became friends & the possibility became a little more tangible. Soon after I attended a PATH Intl workshop on developing effective veterans programming at a program that had a mustang program & I was hooked. Check out BraveHearts if you want to learn more about their impressive operation...