Tumbleweed (1982-2012) - The Pony with Nine Three Lives!
Tumbleweed was one of the 62 horses and ponies inducted in the Horse Stars Hall of Fame in March 2013, a joint program of the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation to share the stories of amazing horses as athletes and humanitarians.
If Tumbleweed had retired after her show career in the small pony hunters, she would still be considered an accomplished show horse and patient teacher. Trained by the legendary Emerson Burr and owned by a family with two daughters, she was successful on the 'A' circuit and taught the sisters to ride and show. But Tumbles, as she was nicknamed, was not one to rest on her laurels. After the sisters outgrew her, they couldn't bear to sell her to a stranger. Instead, she entered the lesson program at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Connecticut, where she had been based during her show career.
Tumbles thrived as a school horse, helping many young students gain experience and confidence in the saddle. Burr, feeling that Tumbles' talent for teaching children and generous nature would make her perfectly suited to a career as a therapy horse, suggested that she be donated to the nearby Corgi Hollow chapter of the Pegasus therapeutic riding program. Her owners agreed, and so Tumbles moved to Corgi Hollow to begin the final - and most influential - part of her career.Her versatility, sense of responsibility, and enthusiasm for her job made Tumbles instantly successful in her new role. She easily adjusted to each different child who rode her, staying at a steady walk for beginner riders and picking up the pace for those who were more advanced. The Pegasus instructors knew they could trust Tumbles to take care of any rider, even those who were dealing with great physical challenges. Her riders, too, appreciated her kind nature and formed close connections with her.Tumbles' extensive background made the multi-talented pony a star in several aspects of the Pegasus program. She participated in beginner-level assisted lessons, advanced independent rides, driving, hippotherapy, and work on the ground. To stay fit while working as a therapy horse, she showed in the short stirrup divisions with the daughter of Betsy Medinger, founder and owner of Corgi Hollow. Tumbles also took part in driving competitions throughout Connecticut and Vermont, earning several championships.Even surgery for a strangulating tumor couldn't stop Tumbles. Once she recovered, she jumped back into work and even took on a new role as a public ambassador. She began visiting the community library for book readings with local children after Medinger wrote "Tumbles Goes to the Hospital," a chronicle of her experience with the surgery. The book helped children relate their own or their friends' health challenges to those Tumbles faced and overcame. Medinger wrote the book for Tumbles' riders, especially one who was fighting cancer and was in the hospital at the same time as Tumbles.When she earned the PATH International Horse of the Year award in 2002, Medinger reflected on the qualities that made her such a successful therapy horse. "Tumbleweed's all-knowing and gentle attitude has carried over to her work in Pegasus," said Medinger. "She has consistently been the choice pony for our physical therapist to use for our most disabled students. Her tolerance for developmental positioning, extra-tight abductors, extraneous movements and accidental kicks is unfailing. She can be counted on to stand quietly and safely while blind students safely explore her body. Because of her good nature, Tumble has become a fixture in the Pegasus annual horse show costume parade. She has delighted audiences as a French Chef's table, Unicorn, Mexican Burro, Eeyore, Blue's Clues, and a wedding cake."Between her lesson students at the Fairfield County Hunt Club, her therapeutic riding students at the Corgi Hollow Pegasus branch, and the many others who knew her and learned from her, Tumbles served thousands of children over her thirty-year life span. The lively, dependable pony who enjoyed and excelled in everything she did left a long-lasting mark on the hearts and minds of those who knew her.Read more about the extraordinary and magical power of horses at http://www.horsestarshalloffame.org.
Rescue, Rehab, Retrain & Re-home – these are the four cornerstones of the EQUUS Foundation and at the heart of our mission to ensure the well-being of horses and enable the therapeutic use of horses for people with special needs. Since the beginning of civilization, horses have been vital to human survival. Although their role has changed, they continue to steal our hearts and imagination. Horses are extraordinary as athletes and as humanitarians. The EQUUS Foundation partnered with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to establish the Horse Stars Hall of Fame to HONOR the contributions of amazing horses, SHARE the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats and BUILD a more informed and compassionate America that values the impact of horses in our lives.Betsy is one of the 62 amazing horses inducted into the virtual Hall of Fame in March 2013. Betsy is the story of a horse that had a life changing impact on the life of one autistic child named Rowan, the son of Rupert Isaacson and Kristen Neff. Because of Betsy's special bond with Rowan, Isaacson was inspired to make the documentary film, THE HORSE BOY. He wanted to share the story of their family's journey from Texas to Mongolia in search of that illusive something that would heal their son. "A lot of the parents go to the ends of the Earth in their own living rooms every day," Isaacson said. "I mean, we had more stressful car rides to the grocery store than any of the stresses and challenges of the trip to Mongolia." THE HORSE BOY has been called "a lyrical, heartbreaking, and deeply stirring meditation on the mystery of autism" (Entertainment Weekly). That "lyrical" journey began with Betsy and how she, a patient, bay mare, showed the way into Rowan's world. Through the movie and companion book, Betsy has influenced and inspired many thousands of people around the world to try equine therapy. The story began the day Rowan darted away from his parents through the fence separating Isaacson's property from his neighbor and literally threw himself on his back under Betsy's hooves. "I thought he was going to gettrampled," recalled Isaacson. The resulting bond between them was so direct, immediate and evident that Isaacson, a life-long horseman, knew that Betsy would forever change his son's life. Because of Betsy, first words were spoken. Read Betsy’s story at http://www.horsestarshalloffame.org.
Eliza came to Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center in Lexington, Virginia, more than 10 years ago with Down Syndrome and started the program with someone leading her horse while two walkers flanked her sides as she rode. Eliza was immediately drawn to Blueberry when he arrived in 2005. Blueberry was not in need of a new home, but instead, was donated by a Board member because he was the perfect type of horse for the program.
Once Eliza and Blueberry started working together, they both progressed at an amazing rate. Blueberry is now a specialist for riders with hyperactivity and panic disorders. Eliza is riding independently and debuted her competitive spirit at the Special Olympics Equestrian Games hosted by Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Virginia Horse Center, and Hoofbeats. Eliza now has her eye on jumping and competing in open shows that offer classes for disabled riders.
The photo of Eliza and Blueberry was taken by Katy Baron, a former rider with Hoofbeats. Eliza had just performed her musical freestyle for Katy. After halting on the centerline, you can see the pure joy in her body language.
Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center (http://www.hoof-beats.com/) is one of hundreds of charities across the United States that are meeting the standards of excellence of the EQUUS Foundation and have received grants thanks to your donations. Your donations are used to ensure the well-being of horses and enable the therapeutic use of horses for those with special needs.
EQUUS Foundation celebrates the extraordinary talent of horses and the magical bond between horses and people. Because of horses, first words are spoken and crutches are set aside. One by one, horses and people are benefiting from your support! Thank you.
Royal came to Days End Farm Horse Recue in Woodbine, Maryland, in April of 2011. He had been locked in a stall in Prince George County, Maryland, surrounded by three feet of urine-soaked manure. Thanks to Days End, there is now hope that Royal may be lightly ridden some day. Royal continues to recover while he awaits his adoption to hisforever home. Days End is just one of hundreds of charities across the United States meeting the standards of excellence of the EQUUS Foundation that have received grants thanks to your donations. Your donations are used to improve the quality of life of horses and foster the use of horses therapeutically for those with special needs. EQUUS Foundation also maintains alliances with many equestrian sport organizations in recognition of the horse’s amazing athletic ability and the career that equestrian sport offers to horses. EQUUS Foundation celebrates the extraordinary talent of horses and the magical bond between horses and people. Because of horses, men and women compete in sport side by side and age is not a determinant of success. Because of horses, first words are spoken and crutches are set aside.The before and after photos of Royal were provided by Days End. For more information about Royal and Days End Farm Horse Rescue, visit www.dehhr.org/One by one, horses are benefiting from from your support! Thank you.
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