Veterans and the Eleventh Hour

I don’t know if it was just me, but this year the country seemed to be incredibly thankful on Veteran’s Day. Social networking sites were flooded with posts, re-posts, and personal thanks.  Media coverage appeared higher than usual, and even The Washington Post included a front page article, Unbroken Spirit, about a brave young quadruple amputee veteran. My words can’t do justice to this hero.  If you read the article, I think you’ll see what I mean.

I received numerous e-mails from friends and relatives yesterday, including the following:

“A Time to pause, a Time to grieve, a Time to remember, a Time to honor, a Time to be proud to be an American. Thank you both for your service to us all.  Our best wishes for a thoughtful day for all who have served our country.” [Read more…]

Character Development

When I complained about challenges in life, my dad used to tell me: “It’s good for you; it builds character.” He would say it as if in jest, but I knew he meant it.

People’s interest in some of the characters in Believing In Horses, has surprised me. Readers have asked:

  • “Who was that supposed to be?”
  • “Are these real people?
  •  “Is your book an autobiography?”
  •  “Is that me?” [Read more…]

Kids Are Heroes

It’s Kids Are Heroes Week, and October 23rd is Kids Are Heroes Day. When I found out about this, it reminded me of one of the reasons I wrote Believing In Horses. Sometimes it seems people are so focused on the negative, they fail to see the positive. So many of our youth are actively involved in trying to help today; at Freedom Hills Horse Rescue’s last fundraiser, young girls were selling food rather than riding horses – talk about commitment! A colleague recently told me about her daughter’s efforts to try and save a local park. If you take a moment and click on the Kids Are Heroes web site, you’ll be overwhelmed by just a few of the incredible projects kids take on these days — all positive.

A nine-year-old girl started Kids Are Heroes –talk about a hero. One of the stories on the we site is about another young girl, Maria, who started “Read Indeed,” a literary organization in which Maria wishes to collect and distribute ONE MILLION books to needy kids by the time she is eighteen. So far she has collected and distributed over 400,000 since early last year! She’s helped kids locally and as far away as Africa, Costa Rica, and the Philippines. You go, Maria!  [Read more…]

Endurance

“Endurance” seems an appropriate topic today, in celebration of the 33 Chilean miners rescued, following their 69 days trapped underground.

In horse parlance, the Endurance discipline tests the stamina of horse and rider as they race to compete a long course; at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) it was a 100 mile course. When my husband, Jaime, and I volunteered to support the WEG, we were pleased that our second assignment would be supporting the endurance competition. We both had great interest in the sport and admiration for the athletes, even though we hadn’t participated in endurance riding – yet. Hey, the senior member of the U.S. team, Jan Worthington, competed in the Games at age 70. Talk about hope and endurance! [Read more…]

Combining Passion and Work

I had originally planned to write more about the World Equestrian Games, but I can’t seem to get past something that’s foremost in my mind right now: having a passion for what you do. I attended the “Get Motivated, Inc.” seminar in Washington, DC, this week, and if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these events, I’d highly recommend it. I attended because I had attended a similar event over ten years ago, and many of the speakers’ insights changed my life for the better. Both events stressed the importance of trying to find a way to combine your passion with your work.  [Read more…]

Reflections

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend Part 1 training for the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA).  According to EAGALA’s Vision Statement, “EAGALA is committed to setting the standard of professional excellence in how horses and humans work together to improve the quality of life and mental health of individuals, families, and groups worldwide.” (For more detailed information, please see www.EAGALA.org).

Significant differences between the EAGALA Model and other equine therapies include the team approach (a mental health professional, an equine specialist, and the horse), and the fact that NO riding is involved. When asked why EAGALA conducts equine therapy on the ground versus on horseback, one of the instructors replied, “You can’t see yourself in the mirror when you are sitting on it.” One of the reasons EAGALA uses horses in therapy and learning is because the organization believes horses mirror what they are seeing and the situations they are presented. [Read more…]