BREAKING FREE THERAPEUTIC RIDING CENTER
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Word from the Herd
|Posted on April 7, 2018 at 12:47 PM||comments (319)|
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|Posted on December 31, 2017 at 2:59 PM||comments (362)|
I recently read some of Angela Duckworth’s articles about “Grit”. She believes that in all the research done on why successful people become successful, there is no correlation between them in regards to economic status, IQ, social skills, physical health, talent, etc. The only thing that all successful people have, whether in school, business, society or any goal one might set is: GRIT. When successful people hit a road bump or experience failure they don’t give up, they don’t downsize the dream, they don’t make excuses. Successful people dig in their heels and keep trying. Even more important is that gritty people use failure as a way to learn and improve going forward.
This word “grit” is appropriate at Breaking Free this month. Heading into our 10th season is only possible because of the sheer grit of people like Bryan and Linda Lake, our instructors and all the many volunteers and sponsors. Especially those who have been here from the start and continue to come every year, refusing to let their passion and dedication fizzle out.
The easiest time to see this grit is in the Winter months. These are not the glamorous months. This is when the grit happens in the office: cold calling new agencies, looking for new clients, new partnerships, new sponsors. We are reading up on the Equine Assisted Activities research, looking for the best lesson plans to suit our students. And Grit happens in the barn: temperatures are in the single digits and yet the grittiest are out throwing hay, cleaning stalls and breaking ice out of buckets.
It occurred to me at our beginner horse clinic this past week that as gritty as I felt in all my insulated clothes walking horses around in single digits, that the grittiest of all were the kids! They showed up despite the freezing temperatures in their sparkle kitten mittens and their mesh Nikes for no reason other than they are so excited to learn about horses. Those kids are going to be the ones that won’t let anything get in the way of their goals. They will be changing the World in the next generation! They inspire me.
This might be a good time for all of us to think about how much grit we have. As we set our New Years goals, How big are we going to dream? How far will we push ourselves to accomplish these dreams? What are we going to do when we don’t succeed at them? Quit? Chalk it up as another year gone, try again next year? Or will we get gritty and learn from the failure.
“True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done. No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows he should have done.” ~ John Wayne
|Posted on November 18, 2017 at 3:58 PM||comments (160)|
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|Posted on November 1, 2017 at 11:33 AM||comments (115)|
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|Posted on October 16, 2017 at 1:54 PM||comments (166)|
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|Posted on October 16, 2017 at 1:52 PM||comments (0)|
When we began planning a new grounds program for families this past Summer, all of our trusted therapeutic horses were at the barn in Zanesville. As I looked over the remaining herd at Breaking Free, I decided to start with Smokey. He is our 21 year old Black Tennessee Walker. The grey on his face, a tell-tale sign that he has “been there-done that”. Other than the time spent with Veterans once a week, Smokey spent most of his time in the pasture. As I dragged him up the hill to the outdoor arena that first day, you could tell he had grown content with being left out there. I’m sure in his mind, his days with the kids were over.
My family often teases me about what I’m going to do when all four of our children are in school. They will laugh at the thought of me watching soap operas in my pajamas while finishing off a carton of ice cream. To be honest, the only thought I had seriously had about the next phase in life was finally getting sheets washed on a regular basis. When the opportunity came to become a PATH Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, I was beyond excited. This would be a field that combines my love of horses, families and emotional wellness with an organization that truly cares for people and our Equine Partners.
I love reading every book I can find on the subject. I love attending workshops, spending time in the community, working on lesson plans and seeking the advice of other Instructors. I have learned so much in the past year. I wish I could see myself in 5+ years when I have a solid foundation for this work. It’s thrilling to see a glimpse of life past toddlers. Of course, being a stay at home mom is wonderful, rewarding and fulfilling. But in such a time-consuming phase, I had forgotten that it won’t last forever.
Smokey has also found enjoyment in his new role. Now, as we head up the hill to the outdoor arena, there is no more dragging. He knows right where he is going and he is pleased to do whatever we ask of him. His well-aged body doesn’t move quickly but it's a testament to me and the families he partners with to savor moments and be present.
All of our horses will be brushing up on their training, thanks to our newly formed exercise team. I think everyone (horse and human) should continue learning new things. No matter what phase you are in, how old you are or what your role is now, try something new. Keep your mind and your body challenged. Stay passionate.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it costs all you have, gain understanding. Proverbs 4:7