mini horse

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. 

The Winds of Change are Coming

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Just like all programs, change is inevitable. Change can be difficult, challenging and full of stress but it frequently results in good things. We believe good things are happening for our program. Seven Oaks Farm is in the process of revamping all our seminars. The change comes not out of habit or just because its the thing to do, but out of our dedication. We are fully committed to bringing you the best program we can when it comes to training your miniature therapy horses or handling your miniature therapy horses. Time and experience are an excellent teacher and we have had both. We're growing our program so that you can receive the top quality training you want and expect. We will be adding many more seminars to our yearly schedule so we can specifically meet your needs. Now theres even more than outstanding book work, and lectures and videos but actual hand on training.

 

We are preparing to add several seminars to our calendar this coming year so you can train right here on our farm with our experienced trainers and handlers. All the course material will be conveniently offered with our written materials but also in video lectures. This will allow you to easily read the material and watch the lectures at a speed  and time that is convenient for you. Once the material is completed you can join our team at our farm and spend many beneficial hours training as a handler and a trainer under the close supervision of our staff. You will be guided thru the entire process of a visit and be able to use your newly gained knowledge immmediately. We truly believe our new format will give you the hands on experience you've been asking for, offer you our expertise and increase your confidence in your skills. Keep looking for updates to our seminars and consider joining us this year. 

 

Whats Going On?

We consider ourselves and our program to be very blessed. We have great handlers and well trained miniature therapy horses. We continue to increase the number of visits we do each year, we are booked for all of 2017 and part of 2018 and we continue to grow. We receive more request to make visits to care centers, schools, etc. than we can attend. A few months ago, an anonymous donor, who is interested in seeing our program expand to help more children, gave us a very generous donation. We knew that in order to be able to make more visits another team would need to be in place and that we needed a means of transportation for that team as well. We made a decision to be very wise with the money donated and to use it as well as possible. To achieve this goal, Seven Oaks Farm was able to hire Sarah, our intern, as a full time handler. We also were able to locate a used van with the help of Liberty Ford. We purchased a used Ford Transit. We are now able to begin scheduling our new team that will be dedicated to serving the children in our community and also those in hospice care. We still need your help to continue with all the visits we already make to over 60 senior care facilities. While we are especially grateful for this donation, we still need your help to continue all the usual day to day care of the horses and to keep all our teams on the road. Our goal is still the same, to serve others, bring joy and offer hope. You are a very important part of helping us to achieve this goal and we need you. We need all the time you volunteer, we need your encouragement and when you can, we need your financial help as well. We know that with your generous support we have a bright future ahead of bringing joy to thousands in our community.

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Thank You!

We are always very thankful for our volunteers, friends and supporters. We are especially grateful that Four Corners Church had the desire to walk along side us and provide financial support to our program. Four Corners Church is located in West Chester, right off of I-75, they seeks to serve the same communities we serve. Their mission is "Real Love Now" The church and its people have served us for many years with providing volunteers and helping us get our name out in the community. They are friends to our program and we couldn't be more proud to partner with them. Their generous donation will allow us to meet two of our goals, serving hospice patients and special needs children. We would like to say a very big thank you to Four Corners Church and their continue support and faith in Seven Oaks Farm Miniature Therapy Horses. Together we are serving others, bringing joy and offering hope.