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Thursday, June 21, 2012

E is for Equine Excuse

My contribution for Alphabe-Thursday this week is not very good.  No good pics or websites to post.  Just a real genuine explanation (oh, another e word!).

I have not had a chance to do a good post because I have been busy this week helping at Untamed Spirit Therapeutic Riding summer camp, in Virgnia Beach, VA.  This wonderful program was founded by Barbara Ford, a woman who has devoted much of her adult life to providing children, all children, with an opportunity to learn to ride and care for horses.  This is a non-profit program and much of the work is done by volunteers.  When my daughter was a little girl I would have been thrilled to have such an opportunity for her.  Since she is now grown, and does ride I am determined to do my part to give other little girls and boys the opportunity to forget about their weaknesses, and find all the strengths they have, and do it on top of a HUGE horse!

So, this week, in 98 degree weather I have been running around helping out where ever I am needed. (I do lots of the arts and crafts projects and organize the snacks, etc. Oh, I also man the Activity Center on the Obstacle Course - I have spent the week being pulverized by the campers as they beat me at tic tac toe every day.)

This is the tic tac toe side of the activity center. That man, is my wonderful husband Artie,who built this  whole thing for the kids.

Campers making horse cookies for the great group of horses and ponies that work so hard each day.

Little campers learn how to groom horses and make sure that the horses hooves are clean and in good order.

The vet came for a visit while the campers were there.  He had to check Ben's front right leg.   Ben is  one of the farms sweethearts. (He is my favorite horse!!) He weighs 2000 pounds and is the gentlest, sweet tempered animal I have ever met.

After riding around in the very hot sunny ring it feels great to have a little cool shower before going into a stall to have a little hay snack - (and maybe a horse cookie too!)

This grand old man is a 40 year old Arabian.  He was one of the cornerstone horses in the beginning of Barbara's riding program.  He doesn't work anymore. Now, he just  gets to hang out with his buddy and eat clover and play.  Literally hundreds of children learned to ride on his back, and he took good care of each of them like the champion his is!

One of the ponies getting ready to work!

That's my Suzanne with Barbara, checking out the activity center prior to the beginning of camp!

And, this is one of the mini-horses saying 'Good bye and thanks for visiting -  You can read and see more about Untamed Spirit at  -

Next week I shall endeavor to find something fantastic for the letter F!


  1. Wonderful work....all the best in your Endeavors♫

  2. We have a theraputic riding center here in Tucson. What a gift that is for children with issues.

  3. what a gift you are giving, volunteering at camp. and in such heat. wishing you continued success.

  4. Really charming, heartwarming E!

  5. This is one of those amazing coincidences. Just today I signed up my youngest daughter for an integrated horse camp where able bodied and disabled alike join together for a week to learn how to care for and ride horses. She is so excited! Thank you for all your work. It will be so appreciated! Horse cookies... what a great idea. I'm off to google it right now.

  6. Therapeutic riding is something very dear to my heart. We have a center near here and the work they do is amazing....

    Thank you for your contribution!



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  8. This is a wonderful "E" post, V.B! I love it!
    And no horse pictures for us? Lots of horses, just not 'horse riding' pictures.

    The horses are soooo pretty. It's been about 10 years since I've ridden a horse, you're reminding me of that. That and also that I rode my horse to high school for my freshman and junior years in the Nebraska two room country school.

    Animal therapy is great! For kids, for seniors, for everyone. Adi (my beagle dog, read her meme from my side bar link the next time you visit) and I are an animal therapy team. Adi is too old now, can't hear, and has arthritis, but we used to visit assisted living homes and Alzheimer homes and help kids with their reading skills.

    I am thinking that your "F" post cannot top this one! Good Job!

  9. What a great thing you're doing. I've heard so many good things about this kind of program.
    No "e"xcuses needed.

  10. Hello.
    This is a fantastic post for "E". Any sort of therapeutic program is a wonderful venture. Horses are beautiful...just wish I could ride. Can't wait to see what you come up with for letter "F". Thanks for sharing.

    Emotions Of Poetry

  11. My Granddaughters would love this place!

    I'm actually afraid of horses (got bit a few times too many a long time ago!) but I'd totally be willing to drive them and then stay in the car! ha!

    Thanks for an excellent link for the letter "E".