cincinnati

Up... Over.... GONE.

Story Narrated by: Shelby Reynolds - Handler and Trainer

Getting ready for visits is always different, which makes every day a new adventure. Some lucky days all three of us (Lisa, Kate and I) are out there getting horses ready, sometimes two of us, and other times… it’s just me. This day was one of the days I was getting the horses groomed, bathed, and dry for the visit today. When I’m by myself I think more strategically, I always start with the ones that are dirtier than the rest, and/or harder to dry… that way I know they are finished. On this particular day we had decided to take Wendy, Harley, Denver and Dakota on our visit to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). 

It’s a nice summer day: sunny and 80 degrees, so I decided to just let the horses eat grass out in the sun while they dried. We have, to my displeasure, a PINK… not purple… corral that stands about 38 inches tall and can get to about 24 feet wide. The horses are able to stay in this corral while they dry off and eat grass. They have access to water and usually end up laying down sunbathing. It’s an easy way to keep them contained and on a clean piece of land before they make a visit.

To introduce our crew for the day:

  • Wendy is our princess at the farm. She is a grand height of 29” and has a vibrant personality making her hard to forget for people we visit.

  • Harley, who I call Haggard like Merle Haggard. He is small in stature and has a very down to earth easy-going personality, making him a perfect therapy horse.

  • Denver, our unicorn. He has stunning blue eyes, natural eyeliner, and is stark white. Denver is most requested for visits, and often sports a beautiful unicorn horn.

  • Dakota is a sweet 34” black and white pinto. He has what we call puppy dog eyes and has a very easy-going, methodical personality.

MuddyDenver

I start with Denver, because he is, like usual, a mess. He takes the most time to clean… if you saw him out in the fields, you wouldn’t know he is a beautiful white looking horse with small black spots in various spots on his body. He’s a natural for getting EVERY SINGLE INCH of him covered in mud. So I start with a rinse down & scrub for Denver. We use some of the best shampoo for this guy. Because he loves rolling in the mud so much, we can’t just wash and rinse, he gets soaped down and has to wait for a few minutes to let the shampoo set into his crazy muddy mess.

So, as I let the soap soak in on Denver, I go ahead and move onto bathing Wendy. Wendy loves attention, I mean she absolutely LOVES it. So, the entire time I wash her she is standing with her head low and back hoof propped up, making my job easy.  In no time at all, Wendy is finished, Denver just needs a rinse down, and I have two horses to go. In order to keep the assembly line moving, I decide to move Wendy out to the corral.

The minute I put her in there and let her loose… she’s off like a bandit, strutting her stuff for whoever may be watching. She does her usual: roll in the nice grass to try to get dry, so I assume it will only last for a minute or two. I watch her for a little longer, but I know that I need to get back to the barn. “Finish washing Denver, start on Dakota, let him soak… wash Harley and we’re all done,” I think to myself. Little did I know what I had coming…

I added this picture so you can get an idea of her height compared to the corral, so you can be just as shocked as I was…

I added this picture so you can get an idea of her height compared to the corral, so you can be just as shocked as I was…

I turn to walk back to the barn and she starts whipping her head around (insert I whip my hair back and forth song). She runs full force to the far side of the corral, turned around, and heads full force to this side again. This is new, so I stay to figure out what she is up to…

Next thing I know, she’s running full force towards the front of the corral and clears the top of the corral. In case you missed what, I said, she …. CLEARED THE TOP OF THE CORRAL. Not knowing to laugh or yell for her, I just stand there in shock. Immediately, I realize, we have her in the wrong profession: this girl is a hunter-jumper at heart! She get’s her “ooo look at me go!” adrenalin rush out, then runs back to the barn gate to see the other horses. 

After laughing and wishing I hadn’t left my phone in the mud lot, I bring her back into the tack room so I can finish rinsing off Denver. Once he is finished, I take both of them back out to the corral and all is fine and dandy. I finish up Dakota and Harley with ease and a few hours later we’re off to have a great visit at CVG with a story to share!

 Moral of the story: don’t underestimate yourself. Whatever you set your mind to; with determination, you can do it. 

Exciting News

This last school year we ran a pilot program for our anti bullying campaign using our therapy horses. We presented the program to several local schools with a tremendous amount of positive feedback from teachers and students.

The program helps the children to understand what bullying is and isn't, the 4 types of bullying, being proud of our differences and how to help each other.  The horses are used to help present the ideas in the program and of course the children love to meet them.

This year we will be presenting the program to 30 schools to help combat the bullying epidemic they are facing. We are partnering with our local police departments as well as many local businesses.

New this year is the first annual poster contest open to 3rd grade classes. Each child will be able to create a poster, using any art media, that best represents our message against bullying. One winner will be chosen from each school that will receive a pack of 4 tickets to the Reds Family Opening Day game and other goodies. Each school winner will then be able to compete for the final prize of $250 worth of free books for their school. 

We are very proud to announce that the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Team are an important part of our efforts. They will be be providing the game day tickets as well as welcoming all the poster winners to the game day festivities. Game day attendees will also be able to see their posters displayed at the Great American Ball Park. 

We are thankful to the Reds for the support of our program and to the children we can impact, "Just Say Whoa to Bullying" is an important and exciting program. Your donations keep programs like this one going strong.

If you'd like to help simply click on our link to

DONATE

Up Up and Away at CVG

We have been more than honored to have our therapy program at CVG be in the spotlight of such national attention. 

Many of you have been requesting to know when our next visits will take place so that you may plan your travel around seeing the horses. We want to make that available to all of you and we will be creating a calendar of our future CVG visits and public events. As for now our next couple of visits to CVG will take place: 

June 2nd @ 2 p.m.
June 15th @ 2 p.m.
July 5th @ 2 p.m.
July 17th @ 2p.m.

Thank you so much for your interest and for your encouraging words. we also hope that if you feel that what we are doing with our horses is a worthwhile program that you would consider donating to our programs. The money we receive is used to care for the horses and help fund all the visits we make to schools, nursing homes, children's centers and other public events.