Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Exercise" horses

Spirit needs a huge amount of your help - from field and facility maintenance, care of equipment, horse care - to the leading and side walking during the lessons. We are proud of our Spirit Team of people who provide their time and energy and keep Spirit going and growing.

Sometimes volunteers do have a chance to mount on horses and have short ride to or from the ring (through trail ride). This is not an exercise for Spirit horses. Just additional work under saddle.

Please, note that "exercise" of Spirit Horses can not be done under saddle and by people who are still learning how to ride. It seems that there is a growing number of offers to help program by riding Spirit Horses.

Occasional sitting on horses before and after regular lessons is just a possible way to show appreciation to those who have already proved their devotion to help and support program activities by time and work.

As our horses are our partners in process of therapeutic and educational activities, it is impossible to satisfy ambitions of all volunteers who want to "help" by riding.

These thoughts are just a general reminder of real mission of Spirit Open Equestrian Program - to serve community by providing safe and functional Equine Assisted Activities in therapy and education.

Part of our mission is to teach and train volunteers in Natural Horsemanship to provide safer and better lesson time for all. That training might, but does not have to include time in saddle :)

Thank you for patience and understanding my, occasionally, not so well articulated messages.
Looking forward to seeing you,

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Good bye, Colby!

Colby is leaving Spirit Field. It is his time to go back to his friend Dusty and spend some nice time at open fields at small farm near Purcellville.

Tuesday, August/5th come at the FPFP to say good bye to such a great friend who creates hundreds of hours of happiness and healing moments in Spirit Program. We will miss him, volunteers, instructors and most of all riders in therapy and education...
Thank you Tracy for giving us a chance to know and work with this special and honest horse.

He will leave our field at 1.30, come and say good bye then, or Monday 6-8 PM during our lesson time.
about a minute ago · Like

Good luck, Colby!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Make up time...

This Sat and whole next week,make up lessons for previous class are going on.
We will try to stay cool :)

Monday, July 25, 2011


...that it will be no rain at 5.30 so we can get horses ready...
It is a make up day...and I will be there to feed/check horses anyway...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mark your Calendar, share the word...

October 22nd

• Individual, pairs, quadrille
• Para equestrian Championship Test for each Grade
• Dressage intro A test
• Dressage frees stile with music, individual or pairs

... and much more...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Excessive Heat Warning!

No lessons until Monday, so far....

From the National Weather Service:
“Temperature: Upper 90s to around 100 degrees.
Heat index values: 110 to 115 degrees.
The worst of the heat will be during the afternoon and early evening hours today and Friday. Excessive heat likely will continue on Saturday.
An excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely. Drink plenty of fluids. Stay in an air-conditioned room. Stay out of the sun. Check in on relatives and neighbors.
Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible, and drink plenty of water.
To reduce risk during outdoor work, the occupational safety and health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency, call 911.”

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No riding Friday & Saturday

Dear Friday/Saturday riders and families, and Volunteers - as you know this Friday and Saturday will be a bad hot days, and I do not think that is healthy and safe for anyone to ride.
We will make up this lesson, next week.
Please stay cool and we are looking forward to seeing you then.
Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience that might cause.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Glory on duty....

From the day one .... <3

Today after camp activity ...

Harmony in action...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mark you calendars - Oct/22nd -RIDE FOR SPIRIT

Public presentation and fundraising time for SPIRIT OPEN EQUESTRIAN PROGRAM

See how Spirit works and support Spirit programs...come to meet our riders and horses, our volunteers and families, bring your friends and relatives to RIDE FOR SPIRIT

Scholarships for Therapeutic Riding program available

Hi, Spirit friends, just to let you know we currently accept Applications for scholarships, so if you are interesting into it, send me Application form from our website, together with new Registration form...Also, please, spread the word in your circle of friends who might be interested into this...Thank you :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

It is not mine...

but says it all...You may not be able to provide own horse, but being a volunteer at SPIRIT can provide the same situation...and lessons.

Power of a Horse

My daughter turned sixteen years old today which is a milestone for most people.
Besides looking at baby photos and childhood trinkets with her, I took time to reflect
On the young woman my daughter had become and the choices she would face in the future.
As I looked at her I could see the athlete she was, and determined woman she would soon be.

I started thinking about some of the girls we knew in our town who were already pregnant,
Pierced in several places, hair every color under the sun, drop outs, drug addicts and on the fast track to no where, seeking surface identities because they had no inner self esteem. The parents of these same girls have asked me why I "waste" the money on horses so my daughter can ride.
I’m told that she will grow out of it, lose interest, discover boys and all kinds of things that try to pin the current generations "slacker" label on my child. I don’t think it will happen, I think she will love and have horses all of her life.

Because my daughter grew up with horses she has compassion. She knows that we must take special care of the very young and the very old. We must make sure those without voices to speak of their pain are still cared for.

Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned responsibility for others than herself.
She learned that regardless of the weather you must still care for those you have the stewardship of. There are no "days off" just because you don’t feel like being a horse owner that day. She learned that for every hour of fun you have there are days of hard slogging work you must do first.

Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned not to be afraid of getting dirty and that appearances don’t matter to most of the breathing things in the world that we live in. Horses don’t care about designer clothes, jewelry, pretty hairdos or anything else that we put on our bodies to try to impress others. What a horse cares about are your abilities to work within his natural world, he doesn’t care if you are wearing $80.00 jeans while you do it.

Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned about sex and how it can both enrich and complicate lives. She learned that it only takes one time to produce a baby, and the only way to ensure babies aren’t produced is not to breed. She learned how babies are planned, made, born and sadly, sometimes die before reaching their potential. She learned how sleepless nights and trying to outsmart a crafty old broodmare could result in getting to see, as non-horse owning people rarely do, the birth of a true miracle.

Because my daughter grew up with horses she understands the value of money. Every dollar can be translated into bales of hay, bags of feed or farrier visits. Purchasing non-necessities during lean times can mean the difference between feed and good care, or neglect and starvation. She has learned to judge the level of her care against the care that she sees provided and to make sure her standards never lower, and only increase as her knowledge grows.

Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to learn on her own. She has had teachers that cannot speak, nor write, nor communicate beyond body language and reactions. She has had to learn to "read" her surroundings for both safe and unsafe objects, to look for hazards where others might only see a pretty meadow, she has learned to judge people as she judges horses. She looks beyond appearances and trappings to see what is within.

Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned sportsmanship to a high degree. Everyone that competes fairly is a winner. Trophies and ribbons may prove someone is a winner, but they so not prove someone is a horseman. She has learned that some people will so anything to win, regardless of who it hurts. She knows that those who cheat in the show ring will also cheat in every other aspect of their life and not to be trusted.

Because my daughter grew up with horse she has self-esteem and an engaging personality. She can talk to anyone she meets with confidence, because she has had to express herself to her horse with more than words. She knows the satisfaction of controlling and teaching a 1000 pound animal that will yield willingly to her gentle touch and ignore the more forceful and inept handling of those stronger than she is. She holds herself with poise and professionalism in the company of those far older than herself.

Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to plan ahead. She knows the choices made today can effect what happens five years down the road. She knows that you cannot care for and protect your investments without savings to fall back on. She knows the value of land and buildings, and that caring for your vehicles can mean the difference between easy travel or being stranded on the side of the road with a four horse trailer on a hot day.

When I look at what she has learned and what it will help her become, I can honestly say that I haven’t wasted a penny providing her with horses. I can only wish that all children had the same opportunities to learn these valuable lessons.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this essay on a parents thoughts on what it can mean to a child to grow up and spend time with a horse. We here at Shade Tree see these blessings everyday. Until next week, take a long ride and enjoy the wonders of a horse.



My Glory

Finally, My Glory, beautiful Morgan mare came to Spirit. She is 16 years old, liver chestnut (copper color) without white marks...and more than that, she has great personality, calm, tolerant and friendly...She already gets well with all other horses, and I know that she will be a star in Spirit Program.

Thanks to generous owners who donated Glory, Spirit will be stronger and will be able to serve better our community.

Thank you Louise for providing transport for Glory, and thank you Jeff, Mark and all who helped to prepare her new home...

Welcome Glory!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Computer still says something about thunderstorms but weather is calm...
Anyway, it would be muddy to do anything with horses tonight...see you in the morning :)

Thunderstorm and heavy rain today....Cancelation for PM lessons today

Volunteers, and riders - there is no way to do lessons today...Sorry. Make up will be done first Wednesday after this Class.
Stay cool and dry :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hot but nice

Camp session in the morning and PM Therapeutic Riding Lessons...
hot but still nice and fun..Thanks great team of people and horses who make this happen....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday and get ready for two more Camps

Thank you all, specially Hala, Hadil, Jamelah, Scarlett, Linda, Mark, Therese, Whitney for great day today :)

Getting ready for two 5 days Camps next week....
Some NH experience for volunteers after each session :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Leson tonight

Hi to all,
weather is not friendly tonight. I suggest to cancell lesson and do make up Friday after Class.
I will try to call about it after 4 PM
Feel free to suggest solution

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thank you, Washington Forrest Foundation!

Washington Forrest Foundation awarded our scholarship found.
Please, apply for scholarship if you need financial help to cover your part of program costs.
You can fill your Application and send it to

Spirit OEP
P.O Box 1342
Great Falls, VA 22066

Feel free to add all additional info to help Spirit make the right decision!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturdays like this one...

Thank you all for great lessons we did together, it was a special morning this Saturday.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wish you all great 4th of July!

All lesson will be as scheduled, Saturday and Monday.