I’m Allison, the Director here at Summit Equestrian & main voice here on our blog. I would like to take a minute to introduce myself & the journey that has led me to where I am now.
My sister & I were horse crazy from pretty early on. We only had 2 Barbies & their legs had been broken off when we tried to get them to ride our model horses. We played for hours constructing elaborate estates & caring for our horses. When I was in elementary school, we moved to a small town in North Carolina with neighbors that owned horses. I was very blessed to have generous neighbors that allowed me to learn to care for & ride actual horses. To this day River Road memories are some of my favorites. I cleaned barns & took care of animals when people were out of town, putting “equine biproduct removal specialist” on my resumes (which cued potential employers in on both my work ethic & sense of humor).
I was away from horses through college & several years after. I went to Florida after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill to continue my aviation training, then taught people to fly float planes for a couple years. From there I moved to Seattle & flew for a seaplane airline, flying people to resort towns and lodges in the area and along the inside of Vancouver Island area. It was a really cool job, but I found myself looking down searching for horse farms. A fellow pilot encouraged me to check out volunteer opportunities at a local therapeutic riding program. I walked in to see people & horses working together to help people & knew what I wanted to do when I “grew up”.
Soon after I met my boyfriend & then moved to the Fort Wayne area (I know, boys right??) I started volunteering with a local therapeutic riding program & was hooked. I worked different jobs in town & studied toward my therapeutic riding instructor certification through PATH. Then taught for the program a couple summers before venturing out on my own with Summit Equestrian in 2010.
I would not have been able to imagine how much I have learned & grown on the adventure leading this program. The families that have come to the barn & shared their lives with me have taught me so much about humility & the joy that comes in service to others. The horses I have had the opportunity to work with have each brought gifts & lessons to share. We started out providing therapeutic riding, beginner riding & horse boarding. My students were the ones that introduced me to the emotional health side of the industry, requesting to work with the horses in other capacities beyond riding. The programs we now provide really ring true to me & help share what I know horses have brought to my life.
I’m grateful for all the opportunities to share our horses with the community. I know spending time with horses has developed my perspective & I’m glad to be able to facilitate that experience for people.