Saturday, August 30, 2014

Retreat for clients with Alzheimer disease and similar dementia issues

 On September 21, Spirit will be hosting an equine-assisted retreat, called The Equine Experience, for a DC based social club for seniors called Club Memory. 

Club Memory is a stigma-free social club for people with early to mid stage Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia and their family members and caregivers. Part of Club Memory's mission statement is to offer therapeutic and social activities at no or very low cost, taking into consideration the exorbitant financial and emotional costs of a dementia diagnosis. 

The equine-assisted therapy activities offered at this unique retreat are tailored to suport the attendees specific needs and diagnoses. Facilitated by an equine assisted psychotherapy team of professionals and therapy horses, the directives will engage the participants senses and attention,  gently drawing them into the present moment. The unique activities support people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia in recalling past experiences and in the implantation of new memories. Many past participants maintain vivid recollections of these therapeutic equine activities even as their disease continues to progress. The activities also decrease stress and support peace of mind and feelings of well-being among those with a diagnosis and their caregivers.

This is the first of this type of retreat at Spirit.

Friday, August 29, 2014

End of Summer, camps and classes

Second Summer 4 week class is over!
One make up week ahead.
Fall session starts Sept/15th.
Week before -Sept 1st-5th - week for volunteer training, EAL sessions, and training for Mentors and Instructor Assistants.
Great opportunity to start giving back to community serving as a volunteer at Spirit Program.
Come and join us!

Last camp of 2014 is officially over!
Thank you all great volunteers who helped this past week. Without you it would not be the same. You touched lives of our young campers and made their memories strong teaching them about how to be safe, how to understand and how to interact with horses.
You are the best!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Adult beginners are not beginners any more....

Ms Cindy and Mr Bill, our adult beginners students who made it to the horse show world!
I am so happy and proud of them :)
Cindy is riding tonight at the Park at the show at 6 PM
Go, Cindy!

Proud to serve our community!

Therapy Thursday series this Fall!

For McLean Community Center

Sept. 18th
Oct. 16th
Nov 13th

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to join to Spirit Volunteer Team

Dear Prospective Volunteer,

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Spirit Open Equestrian Program.  Please find out more about our mission at our website, and submit a Liability Release Waiver on line if you want to start or visit us.  When you come the first time, please, bring signed a hard copy of the Registration Form.

The Volunteer Manual on the website describes the role of the most popular positions of Leaders and Sidewalkers.  We need volunteers year-round, with occasional breaks and make-up weeks. We need Leader and Sidewalker volunteers during lessons, year round, but we have many different options for those who want to help.  Please, see the attached list of our available volunteer positions. *

When you arrive, please wait to be officially and safely greeted.  Only registered Staff and Mentor Volunteers and Mentors-in-Training (under supervision) should approach horses to groom and tack. Only Instructors can allow anyone else to work with the horses, based on training level and time spent in the program. Please, help us keep our program safe and our horses happy and calm. Do not try to approach them without staff supervision.

Make sure to look HERE or Facebook for news, the schedule, and cancellations; and sign up for (see more at Cancellation page)

Thank you and welcome!


Dada Suvak
Program Director

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Saturday lessons canceled

Message about Saturday - Difficult Run Pony Club Has a big show this week end at the Park. We have to cancel our lessons for Saturday. Come and watch other kids riding 

Lightening and thunder storm is just too much.
Sorry, no lessons tonight :(

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thank you, Spirit Team!

Rain did not stop Spirit tonight.
Thank you all, Jeff, Emma, Scarlet, Caitlyn, Sabina, Anna, Marian for all you done to make a fun and safe lesson for our students 

Camp spot open!


One of next week’s campers  needed to withdraw from camp due to some family medical issues. Due to the campers reasons, we gave her a full refund. I know it is important for the spot to be filled for many different reasons. We have already called everyone on the waitlist and no one responded, so right now there is still one spot open in that camp. We have cleared the waitlist so that anyone is able to sign up on Parktakes Online. We haven’t had anyone asking about joining the camp; maybe you know some kids who weren’t able to sign up before? Fingers crossed the spot will fill in next few days…

Wednesday lessons

Dear riders and families, FYI, our lessons are on for tonight, and we shall ride at indoor ring. 
See you at 6 PM
Best wishes, 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Meet Little John and Trac Vac

Our morning crew of volunteers, Don, Teresa and all who chose to help in field maintenance will be able to make our field clean faster and with less effort!
Meet two new members of our Equipment Asset Little John, green small tractor capable to pool it's partner Trac Vac manure scooper. Meet them, celebrate with us.
It was a good deal. Just a little above $1,000.00 ($1,125.00 with discount from the seller :). New manure vac is $3-4,000 at least, without pulling device. We do relay on Boris, and anyone's ability to maintenance this things, too. So far, all is in a god working condition :)
We was not able to resist and spent some hay $ on this valuable additions, so we need some help to fill up that gap.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Updated schedule

Thursday lessons are on tonight and I am looking forward to seeing our Spirit Team together :)
Reminder for volunteers about tomorrow
Friday - no lessons or activities, until the end of this class :)
See you Saturday !

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

No lessons tonight

Rain today 
Show at the indoor ring tonight 
All lessons and activities canceled. 
So sorry because of it.
Make up will be done after the Class 
Thank you for understanding

Monday, August 11, 2014

Emma's message:

As the summer winds down, I'd like to thank all of our volunteers who were back from college, on vacation in Northern Virginia, or otherwise in the area for a limited time and chose to spend part of their time consistently helping at Spirit. We'll miss you, and hope to see you again at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and/or next summer! A special shout-out to Anna Carlson, our Spirit mentor who has been paired with Frederica for the past year and is heading to VCU at the end of the week!

For everyone who gets to keep having fun, here are some tidbits to think about in the near future:

2 weeks away: The last summer camp begins Monday, August 25th and runs the full week through Friday, August 29th. The camps this summer have been a great chance for volunteers to get more experience, and for many young campers to experience horsemanship for the very first time! Sign-up on the google doc, or let me know what mornings you can help!

One month away: Local schools start back! Along with the normal slew of binders, composition books, pens and locker accessories, please add confirming your Spirit schedule to the list. I know there are often drastic changes in schedules once school and extracurriculars start back. When you know what day(s) of the week you can commit to regularly in the Fall, please 

Monday, August 4, 2014

What a great week end!

Congratulations to 4H Team, Sam and all who helped this week end. from Spirit Team as well and thank you so much for letting our riders from EAT program to show off!

So proud of our Mentors who mad it happen for Erica, Elizabeth and Leah!
Thank you Mira, Zoe and Becky !

Congratulations to Becky and Julia who rode Sunday at 4 H show and won their divisions!

What a great week end!