Click here to go back to the main Newsletter page

FEATHER FEATURES

Member Spotlight, Fall 2009

Just wanted to let some of you folks up north know about one of our members in the southern half of the state. If you have room to add it into a newsletter, that would be great.

Bill and Pat Howe live in Lebanon Ohio and have had Clydesdales for many years. Her favorite horse is ‘Sally” who she had gotten from Keith Mann several years ago. She currently has three Clydes. Pat prefers to ride and has little interest in driving. She has been an instructor and a board member for the ‘Bridge Riding for the Disabled” which is a highly accredited therapeutic riding program that was started 2 years ago by her dear friend Jane Kellerman. When Jane lost her battle with cancer last fall, Pat told Bill that she could not stand to see the program go by the wayside. So they quickly put a plan into action. They had Shanahan’s build them a 65’ by 140’ covered arena before winter bit. Then they were able to add a few more stalls and some vesy close friends boarded the programs Halflinger horses until the construction was completed. As a testament to their dedication and belief in doing something good for others, many more good things are coming their way. As a non-profit organization with total volunteer help, they have received many good things in return. Like the neighbor who has allowed them to bail all of his fields for extra hay, and use of an extra pasture. Many members of our Ohio Horse Council chapter continue to support the program with fundraising activities, and help when needed.

Included is a photo of one of the students on Sally. The students were used to the Halflingers and few light horses that the program had used at Jane’s original location. When they first arrived at theflowe’s everyone was a bit mystified by the sight of the Majestic Clydes1es (and a little intimidated as well). I don’t think that Pat ever intended to bring the Clydes into the program, but fate can deal some wonderful twists into your life. As time passed Pat noticed every child wanting to pet Sally. Now let me tell you that Sally is 22 years old, and has had her share of bouts with ‘scratches” and some filling in her hind leg. Well the Good Lord has helped keep her cleared up, and she just has such a gleam in her eyes when the kids are there, that it was obvious she had to join the program as well. Daryl and I had the great privilege to attend last week’s “Ride-a-Thon” fUndraiser, where all the students and families came out to ride and have a picnic. The girl in the photo is Claudia. When she first started the program she mostly used sign language. She is severely hearing impaired, and was very shy and introverted. Over the years she gained more confidence and pride. The ride a thon was her first time on Sally and she hardly ever held on. She just kept shouting and waving her arms as she proclaimed ‘I am riding Sally, Jam riding Sally’ over and over and over again’. Her parents were all crying and laughing at the same time. This is just one of the countless joys that Pat gets to see over and over again. She has created another horse lover as Claudia now reads all the horse books she can. It made me choke up to see the good that seven horses can pull Out of dozens of little kids. And not to mention, the good the kids can bring out of the horses. The adults are just there to witness it all unfold. These kids have either autisum, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, blindness, hearing impairments, or fetal alcohol syndrome. Pat has big dreams to add some lesson time in to help some returning soldiers rehab their isuries and is working with the Veterans hospital to see if it can be arranged And she is working with the other Clydes to get them prepared for the tasks ahead as well. You can find out more at www.bridgeriding.org or contact Pat at howe.pmearthlink.jiet

Submitted by Andy Kavalauskas