Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Day at the Stables

One thing my daughter Lisa is doing this summer, as she did last year as well, is volunteering at an awesome program for developmentally disabled young adults.  Michael's Place was created by a dad for his son and his peers as a way to provide meaningful work and to help them grow in self-esteem and confidence.  The 'kids' work with miniature horses, Shetland ponies and rescue horses - cleaning stalls, brushing and walking the horses, etc...  It has been such a blessing in Lisa's life - and in ours because Lisa is a fantastic sharer of stories.  These kids love Lisa and she's able to be an encouragement, a listening ear and give some practical help and guidance in their work. 

Last Saturday, Marvin had a potluck lunch and 'horse show' for all of the families represented so we got to tag along.  What a fun day and it made my heart swell with pride to see Lisa's interaction with the 'kids.' 

All of the guests sat on bales of hay at one end of the main arena and each participant walked a pony in front of us, brought them to a halt and had them stand in their 'show stance' (or whatever it's called!).  Then the awards were announced.

Stephanie won first place with her horse, Checkers!
Lisa handed her the blue ribbon.
The crowd cheered and Stephanie was elated!

What?  Another first place?
More wild clapping.
Do you see that rack of ribbons in the background?
A sign of things to come...

And another!

Then it was time for the obstacle course...

This was tricky as you had to walk your horse through the cones, between the rails, around a hoop and through a ladder on the ground.

This required a lot of concentration and remembering what came next.

The greatest part of it all was the reaction of those winners - HUGE smiles, bowing, waving to the crowd and posing for pictures with their ribbons.

Look Mom!!

I am just so impressed with this program!  The 'kids' are learning they can be productive and independent away from home.  They feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in working for a small salary while interacting with the horses and learning new skills.  I just love that Lisa has chosen to give her time to such a great program.  Kinda makes me proud.

A few random shots taken at the stables that day...

I'm probably living vicariously through Lisa - when I was growing up, there was nothing I'd rather have had than a horse of my own.  Nothing.

There were several babies - a few weeks old.

And I had to show you this one.
Do you see our dog Bonnie on the flank of that horse?

1 comment:

Marni G said...

Becky, this is precious in so many ways. What a wonderful thing for Lisa to be a part of...and for you to get to experience :)

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