Measures of Success
Yesterday we had a benefit horse show at Dream Catchers. This was an open horse show—that is to say that most of the classes were not specifically for therapeutic riders- but some of our riders integrated into those classes. Instructors showed some of the Dream Catchers horses, demonstrating their own outstanding horsemanship skills. The reserve champion western junior rider was Tori Conner, riding instructor Skip’s horse, Baron.
However, the highlight of the day for me was the achievement class. Four students. Four stories. These students would not stand out in a class for their remarkable achievements or exceptional riding abilities. Yet we created a class just for them. Each student has improved remarkably when compared to when they first came to Dream Catchers. For Stephi it was only 12 weeks ago. You should have seen him neck rein! Beth was off lead, with minimal support from her ever –present side walkers. Joseph, who is a horse show veteran, demonstrated two-point position at the trot. Then there was Tori. First, people watched as the instructors mounted Tory using the new Sure-Hands Lift System. Tori is much bigger than when she first came to us. She does not have the physical ability to help the staff mount her. Today she used her left hand. She made the audience wait for it—she really has such a sense of humor- but she did it. She has come a long way from only being able to ride for five minutes. There were no blues, reds or yellows for this class—how could you judge these students against one another. They are their own benchmark, their own success stories. Not because they will ever win Olympic gold, but because they are always progressing. Sometimes that progress is so slow that we almost miss it-until a day like today.
Some good friends to Dream Catchers came out as well. Anna & Mindy Bishop from Piddl’n Acres brought beautiful quarter horses, as did Larry White from Bluff Point Quarter Horses in Kilmarnock. Nice quality horses and we are glad they chose to shake off the cold and come spend the day with us.
As always, we couldn’t have these type of events if our volunteers weren’t there—handing out ribbons, helping our students, selling concessions (the Conner girls + Caitlyn made a formidable concession team, but they weren’t out done by Tyler, who was pushing cookies, coffee, and calendars to the very end).
I can never say enough good things about the Dream Catchers staff. The instructors- in no particular order- Melissa Conner, Deb Hill, Skip and hubby Molly who is our wonderful announcer, Carol I, Brittney, Kim and Donna. The place looked great—thanks Lauren, Ben & Peter for keeping us looking good! Some of these folks work 6 days a week—and so when we do something on Sunday, it becomes 7 days a week. They are tireless and talented. The riders in the achievement class are proof positive.
Next show March 28—don’t miss it!
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