Thankful for Great Horses Who Give Back Out of the Show Pen
When we gather around the table today celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and
family, many of us will say thanks to the blessings in life. Through the horse showing community, there will be whispered
thanks for good horses, great moments of the year, and our good fortune to be
able to show horses and do what we love.
There are many show horses who go on to provide so much more beyond their days in the show pen. At GoHorseShow, we went in search of a few good show horses
that are still providing great moments for people and specifically people with
unique needs and circumstances. So
let’s say thanks to the great horses and horse people that continue to give
back in a big way!
Located in North Carolina, Victory Junction Camp was founded 12 years ago by Kyle and
Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam, a professional race car driver, who was killed in a NASCAR race when he was 19 years old.
Victory Junction provides a plethora of activities and experiences for children with chronic medical
conditions or serious illnesses by providing life changing moments that are
exciting, fun and empowering. The camp’s many programs have helped more than 17,600 children and families,
and no child or family incurs any cost.
Their horseback riding program allows children to have an equine
experience in a safe environment while adjusting for conditions associated with
cancer, craniofacial anomalies, diabetes, hemophilia, sickle cell and spina
bifida and more.
The daughter of Kyle and Pattie Petty and grand daughter of Richard Petty, AQHA
World Champion Montgomery Lee Petty has seen first hand how show horses are
making a difference in lives. In
fact, her World Champion western pleasure horse, Mr Magnolia Zip (pictured above), has been one
of the favorite horses at the Camp for years. She shared, “Show horses are
great therapy horses as they have been exposed to so much and spent a lifetime
of getting used to new environments. They provide a safe avenue for children to
experience horse back riding that might not have previously had an opportunity
to ride and be around horses.” One
of the many horses in the program, Bubbly was a Reichert Champion that was
donated to the program a few years ago, still carries children through camp!
Charlene Thomas is doing great things in Corpus
Christi, Texas. Thomas is a certified riding instructor and
therapist that understands more than most the gifts that horses can provide
someone with physical, mental, emotional and learning disabilities. Charlene and her team help more than
120 children and adults each week through equine assisted therapy. GREAT has some amazing horse team
members as well including Solisters General a 10 time PHBA World Champion, NSBA
money earner “Certain I Am” who was trained by Vicky Holt, “Hotroddin Chrome”
donated by the Stanford family was a great Paint show horse, along with
Congress Champion “Talkinabout Potential” aka Alvin was donated by the Carlisle
family. Son Reid Thomas shared
details about the horses, “The Horses at GREAT are still treated like show
animals, but are still making life changing differences.” He went on to say, “showing horses
feeds egos, therapeutic riding changes people’s lives. To see a show horse be
retired to a therapeutic riding program is one of the most rewarding processes
to witness as a horse trainer!”
Harmony Family Center at Montvale
Located in East Tennessee, Harmony Family Center at Montvale
provides therapy and adoption services to children and family in foster care or
at during the first stages of adoption to help provide healing opportunities as
well as champions social skills and self empowerment. The Equine Assisted Psychotherapy program is an experiential
therapy, meaning that clients gain insight by participating in structured
activities with the horses, and then processing their experience with our
professionally trained clinicians. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy essentially
reveals insights through analogy and metaphor. Congress Champion “Lady Ann Mellow” aka Annie along with
other superior winning quarter horses help guide children and adults through
the process of healing.
The Center of Equine Recovery for Veterans (CERV)
Working in collaboration with the Veteran’s Recovery Center,
a division of the Veteran’s Administration Healthcare system in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
MTSU Horse Science program piloted a joint program to test curriculum and
services that would couple psychosocial rehabilitation with community
integration and individual client choice.
The program which started in the summer of 2013 works to assist veterans
who struggle with hope, self-esteem, trust and community integration due to
serious mental illness. National
Champion IHSA Horses like “Hotroddin In Chrome” aka Harley and “Mr Gold Lent”
aka JR are vital equine partners in the program. Both horses were NSBA and AQHA Money and point earners and
now are the basis of helping veterans.
So this Thanksgiving, join us in being thankful for good horses
and horse people doing great things.
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at GoHorseShow!