Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony

by PERSONAL PONIES LTD
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Provide Care for a Differently Able Child's Pony
Maggie
Maggie

Mark has cerebral palsey and is usually confined to a wheelchair, but for this picture, he got to sit on his new "personal" pony, MAGGIE. We think this story is extra special because it is also a story about a little mare that was saved from certain death because of the skill and generosity of PPL Volunteer, Gail Schumann (see MAGGIE's story below). Thanks to Gail, and MAGGIE's stamina and courage, Mark, MAGGIE and her companion goats, BUTTONS and BOWS, are all best friends.

Mark first saw MAGGIE one day when he was visiting at Greystone Farm. It was love at first sight, but he had to wait for arrangements to be made before he could bring her home. And when the day finally came to take MAGGIE home, Mark cried and cried because he was afraid she might not want to go.

But MAGGIE had other ideas! As everyone waited for the van to be made ready, MAGGIE laid her head in Mark's lap as he sat in his wheelchair . She seemed to be saying, "This is where I belong --with Mark." And after Mark's Dad settled Mark into the van, MAGGIE climbed right in beside him, ready to go to her new home. She had lost her baby, but she had a new loving family and a boy named Mark who needed her.

Since her arrival, Mark's Dad has built MAGGIE a new shed and coral--but not without some help from the mischievous pony. "She would grab a bucket of nails with her teeth and fling them in the air," said Dad, Leonard. "She grabbed my tools and once even tried to climb up the ladder." But for Mark, MAGGIE stands quietly by his chair so he can brush and hug her, and happily eats out of the bucket he holds for her.

Thank you, Gail Schumann, for caring so much for this little Shetland pony mare. Thank you for paying all the expenses of MAGGIE's surgery and recovery, for nursing her back to health, and for sending her to be Mark's pony for always.

SCHUMANN'S MAGGIE MAE - a little mare survives a breach foal
(as told by Volunteer Breeder, Gail Schumann)

MAGGIE was born in April, 1992, the first foal of a little appaloosa mare named RUTHIE. She was a sassy little foal and kept me laughing at her antics. When she was five I bred her and happily waited for her foal.

I have foaled a lot of mares and have been trained to do a lot of advanced vetting procedures, but when Maggie went it to labor, it was clear to me immediately that she was having too hard a time and that probably this foal was not in a good position and could not be birthed without help. I scrubbed up and tried to get the foal into the right position, but I could not do it. I knew she would need a C-section and rushed to call my vet, pulled the back seat down in my Blazer, loaded MAGGIE in the back, and frantically made the forty minute drive to the clinic where there were facilities for emergency surgery.

MAGGIE seemed to know I was trying to help and never made a sound, but by the time we arrived at the clinic she was in very poor condition.

Two vets were waiting for me and we rushed her under anesthesia to deliver her foal. Sadly, the foal did not survive, but I was determined to save this special little mare.

As soon as she was recovered a bit from the surgery, I brought MAGGIE back home and began to nurse her around the clock, even sleeping in the stall with her. She had to have six shots a day, and She was so weak that I had to syringe electrolytes and grain mashes into her mouth to give her the nourishment she so desperately needed.

On the seventh day, Maggie's temperature spiked to 104 and as I wiped her down with cool water and syringed fluids into her mouth, I was sure she was rapidly failing and would not survive. Finally, as a last resort, I gave her a large dose of penicillin and completely exhausted, we both dozed off.

Then the miracles happened! A few hours later I was awakened by my MAGGIE who inexplicably had jumped up from her death bed and was excitedly running around the stall in circles. I broke into tears, but Maggie just stopped and looked at me, then calmly urinated. As I hugged my dear pony, it was clear her fever had broken and that she was (at last!) HUNGRY!

Right then I promised MAGGIE that she would never be bred again and that I would find her a most special child to love her...and now she has Mark.

Mark Maggie
Mark Maggie
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Best Friends
Best Friends

Since 1986, Personal Ponies primary mission has been to bring MAGIC into people's-especially children's lives; to bring smiles and joy in a most unusual way. We believe (and we’ve seen it happen over and over again!) that the lives of anyone with special needs are immeasurably enriched by connecting with a small equine companion in a "Personal" way- so this is what we do! Our ponies are uniquely suited in temperament and size to small children, folks in wheelchairs, hospital rooms, veterans centers, senior centers or anyone who would enjoy interacting with a smaller equine in a more "intimate" manner - eye to eye!

  • To achieve national acceptance and respect for the idea that a small pony can have a significant impact on people of all ages by establishing a connection based on touching, grooming, feeding, leading, even talking to a pony in a non-riding scenario. The interaction can relieve stress, build confidence, trust and communication skills.
  • To solicit and gain involvement by Foundations, business people, private citizens on the National, State, and local levels.
  • To encourage integrity and continuous improvement in the development of a nationwide network for the placement of Personal Ponies in environments where they can work their magic in their unique way.
  • To develop a program with the vision and scope to reach well beyond the next 100 years.
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Petoots braces
Petoots braces

PERSONAL PONIES usually chooses one of the children participating in our program as Poster "Child" of the Year, but this year we are VERY pleased to have chosen a most special pony for this role.

We think after you read PETOOT's story (written by his PPL "mom," Gail Schumann, State Director of New Hampshire), that you will agree that PETOOT is a most special pony and an example for us all...

Gail's story ...

Both my husband and I work full time jobs off the farm, but luckily I am only five minutes away and my father-in-law, Bernie, comes in at mid-day to check on everyone, do any needed feeding and watering, and in general make sure that all is well.

On the day PETOOT was born, Bernie came as usual—but there was nothing "usual" about the phone call I received from him telling me that RAINIE had had her foal, that both of his front legs looked like they were broken, and that he could not stand. Alarmed, I immediately left work and came home to try to get the foal to stand and nurse, but Bernie was right: this little colt could not stand on his front legs. They didn't seem broken to me, but they looked like they had been "put on" sideways.

Of course, I immediately called my vet who was amazed by the foal's unusual "conformation" and who said she had never seen anything like it. At that point we had no idea if we could save this little colt, but we decided to take one step at a time and see what could be done for him. Thus our first job was to get colostrum from his dam and tube that into his stomach. We also decided to give him some IV tetracycline for safety. But as we worked with PETOOT and talked about his chances, PETOOT kept doggedly TRYING to get up and walk! Impressed with his heart, we decided to give him a few days and see what happened.

But in order to live, PETOOT had to eat and as he couldn't stand to nurse, I milked the mare and started feeding him with a baby bottle every 4 hours. He was great about drinking and the more milk he got, the more DETERMINED he got that he was going to GET UP AND WALK. On the fourth day when I went in to milk the mare, I was dismayed to discover that she had no milk. Discouraged, I sat in the stall and watched for a bit only to discover that PETOOT had figured out how to get himself up and drink! His little legs weren't very strong and they still turned out, but HE GOT UP! It was also easy to see that this little colt was proud as a peacock to have conquered this critical skill.

Lots of people have asked me if I ever thought about putting PETOOT down in these early days when his condition looked so hopeless. Of course, it was something that my vet and I discussed, but it was really PETOOT's stamina, his willingness to keep trying, and his will to live that kept us from it. My vet even said that she simply could not, in good faith, destroy a creature with that much heart and spirit unless his physical condition became grave. Thus, PETOOT himself determined his own future.

By the end of the first week, my vet and I decided that we needed to do more for PETOOT—we needed to figure out what to do with his legs. Our first plan was braces to help support his legs, but while I left them on at night, I was afraid to keep them on during the day for fear he might get stuck on something. But even with this limited support for his legs, each day PETOOT got stronger, ate more, and got more of the "I CAN BE JUST LIKE VERYONE ELSE" attitude. He tried HARD at everything, especially at trying to run and jump like other foals.

Spurred by his continuing courage, I contacted several equine clinics, but the responses were discouraging and NO ONE thought that a little pony like PETOOT was important enough to work with. What was there to do but decide that between me and PETOOT we could make this work! Thus PETOOT and I began his physical therapy together...

I didn't really "KNOW" what I was doing, but it made sense to me that PETOOT needed help in teaching his front legs what to do—so I started "being" his front legs for him by holding them and moving them in the way they need to go in order for PETOOT to walk. Then I got a FAX from Gunvor Schoch in Sweden that detailed massage techniques and therapies to try on his legs. So now I also became PETOOT's massage therapist and faithfully administered the massages, linaments and warm soaks Gunvor recommended. And each day, PETOOT's attitude said to me, "LOOK AT ME! I CAN WALK AND RUN IF I WANT AND I REALLY NEED TO STAY ALIVE!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

PETOOT is now 6 months old and his ATTITUDE and DESIRE TO LIVE are the reasons he is still here. He has never once given up. NOT ONCE! His feet are trimmed every 3 1/2 weeks to help him with his walk and today his front right leg looks almost normal, though his left leg is still seriously turned out. BUT this foal does run with the other horses, eats with them and believes he is ten feet tall instead of the 18" high he really is!

PETOOT is the foal that can make anyone believe that ANYTHING NIS POSSIBLE. He has the desire to liive and the heart to say, "OK, I AM DIFFERENT BUT I CAN AND WILL LIVE A GOOD LIFE." And he certainly made me realize how much love and heart a child with disabilities really has.

Most of all, though, he is a constant reminder to me of how wonderful life really is, no matter what problems you or your children may have.

 Petoot Update

Petoot just had his 16th birthday and we thought you might like to see how he has thrived in the past years despite his difficult start in life.

Gail says that Petoot's right leg has straightened substantially, but that his left is still very crooked. Doesn't seem to bother this pony a bit though as you can see from the new pictures! Gail also reports that Petoot seems to know his limitations, but really enjoys rollicking with his best friends

Petoot and Rainie (mom)
Petoot and Rainie (mom)
Petoot the Reindeer
Petoot the Reindeer
Petoot (16 years old)
Petoot (16 years old)
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Camp Allen
Camp Allen

What PPL Ponies Can Do!!!

Ponies - horses have the ability to heal in different ways. While other animals can be healers, too, the amount of healing you receive from a horse is amazing.  A horse has a substantial presence and this aids with their incredible healing energy they can provide. PPL ponies do this in several ways:  

  • Grounding ability
  • Sacred exchange of breath
  • Touch connection from the ground
  • Connection from sitting on their back
  • Through the movement of the horse
  • Mind to mind connection 

Ponies - horses have the ability to help people with physical conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, ADHD, addictions and brain or bodily injury.  Horses have the amazing gift to even impact those same people on a mental level. Other mental/emotional conditions they can help with are learning challenges, grief, trauma, PTSD, depression and anxiety. When a pony - horse works with someone on a deep level, they are truly helping them on a spiritual level.  A pony- horse able to do this kind of sacred work, a true heart and soul animal a person can’t help but understand that this is a spiritual being helping them or a loved one to have a shared spiritual experience.

Not every pony - horse is meant to help heal others but for those that do, it is a yearning inside of them that seeks to guide, empower and heal children and adults. More and more professionals are realizing the healing power of ponies -horsesThe ponies - horses are showing up in lives and they are creating healing opportunities for people: 

  • Therapeutic riding programs. They focus on riding and the movement of the ponies especially for physical healing. Physical therapists are usually involved in the session
  • Two types of equine assisted/experiential therapy programs are Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP.) They focus on the mental health of people and usually involve a psychotherapist and a horse trainer. Sessions can involve riding and ground work, where the person interacts with the horse from the ground.
  • Another type of equine assisted therapy can be referred to just as equine experiential therapy. This therapy may also involve riding and ground work, perhaps with a larger portion devoted to interaction from the ground. More and more places are offering this type of service not just for those with physical or mental challenges, but for business professionals and corporate groups.  

No matter what service ponies - horses can help teach and heal on a grand scale. Even if horse pet parents can’t physically ride or the horse can’t be ridden, just having the pony - horse be a part of your life is unlike any other animal in your life. The presence of a pony- horse can be very grounding for both children and adults. There is a reason people just have ‘backyard’ horses, though many may not comprehend the depth of why they do.  

If you are not a horse caregiver or perhaps have never been around horses, it is strongly recommended that you do to share some time with them. When you sit on top of a horse, you are connecting your root chakra with their heart chakra. Just sitting with them can be a powerful, beautiful and energizing experience. 

Leah
Leah
R&J
R&J
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Klover and child
Klover and child

In May 2010, Leah and Klover of the Personal Pony program came to live with us, after the State Director, Gail Schumann, allowed us to become promoters of this exciting program. We are able to bring the ponies anywhere people might benefit from seeing and interacting with them like in classrooms or camps servicing children and adults who are differently abled. Here at our home in Bedford NH, we are also set up to allow families to visit our small farm and interact intimately with the ponies. Our three very personable pygmy goats – Mocha Rose, Rocky and Reed, all good friends with the ponies – create major entertainment. Lucy the bunny is perfect for snuggling.

In addition, we participate in fairs and parades. The ponies love adventure and don’t mind dressing up a bit! We also welcome volunteers of all ages, here at Cloud 9 Farm. Depending on interests and skill level, volunteers can help us with training, visits, exercising the ponies and doing farm chores. Students from local high schools can receive community service hours.

Leah and Klover are gentle and patient learners and teachers. They are incredible treasures. We are so grateful that the Personal Pony program is letting us love them and share them with the community.

In May 2010, Leah and Klover of the Personal Pony program came to live with us, after the State Director, Gail Schumann, allowed us to become promoters of this exciting program. We are able to bring the ponies anywhere people might benefit from seeing and interacting with them like in classrooms or camps servicing children and adults who are differently abled. Here at our home in Bedford NH, we are also set up to allow families to visit our small farm and interact intimately with the ponies. Our three very personable pygmy goats – Mocha Rose, Rocky and Reed, all good friends with the ponies – create major entertainment. Lucy the bunny is perfect for snuggling.

In addition, we participate in fairs and parades. The ponies love adventure and don’t mind dressing up a bit! We also welcome volunteers of all ages, here at Cloud 9 Farm. Depending on interests and skill level, volunteers can help us with training, visits, exercising the ponies and doing farm chores. Students from local high schools can receive community service hours.

Leah and Klover are gentle and patient learners and teachers. They are incredible treasures. We are so grateful that the Personal Pony program is letting us love them and share them with the community.

In May 2010, Leah and Klover of the Personal Pony program came to live with us, after the State Director, Gail Schumann, allowed us to become promoters of this exciting program. We are able to bring the ponies anywhere people might benefit from seeing and interacting with them like in classrooms or camps servicing children and adults who are differently abled. Here at our home in Bedford NH, we are also set up to allow families to visit our small farm and interact intimately with the ponies. Our three very personable pygmy goats – Mocha Rose, Rocky and Reed, all good friends with the ponies – create major entertainment. Lucy the bunny is perfect for snuggling.

In addition, we participate in fairs and parades. The ponies love adventure and don’t mind dressing up a bit! We also welcome volunteers of all ages, here at Cloud 9 Farm. Depending on interests and skill level, volunteers can help us with training, visits, exercising the ponies and doing farm chores. Students from local high schools can receive community service hours.

Leah and Klover are gentle and patient learners and teachers. They are incredible treasures. We are so grateful that the Personal Pony program is letting us love them and share them with the community.

In May 2010, Leah and Klover of the Personal Pony program came to live with us, after the State Director, Gail Schumann, allowed us to become promoters of this exciting program. We are able to bring the ponies anywhere people might benefit from seeing and interacting with them like in classrooms or camps servicing children and adults who are differently abled. Here at our home in Bedford NH, we are also set up to allow families to visit our small farm and interact intimately with the ponies. Our three very personable pygmy goats – Mocha Rose, Rocky and Reed, all good friends with the ponies – create major entertainment. Lucy the bunny is perfect for snuggling.

In addition, we participate in fairs and parades. The ponies love adventure and don’t mind dressing up a bit! We also welcome volunteers of all ages, here at Cloud 9 Farm. Depending on interests and skill level, volunteers can help us with training, visits, exercising the ponies and doing farm chores. Students from local high schools can receive community service hours.

Leah and Klover are gentle and patient learners and teachers. They are incredible treasures. We are so grateful that the Personal Pony program is letting us love them and share them with the community.

In May 2010, Leah and Klover of the Personal Pony program came to live with us, after the State Director, Gail Schumann, allowed us to become promoters of this exciting program. We are able to bring the ponies anywhere people might benefit from seeing and interacting with them like in classrooms or camps servicing children and adults who are differently abled. Here at our home in Bedford NH, we are also set up to allow families to visit our small farm and interact intimately with the ponies. Our three very personable pygmy goats – Mocha Rose, Rocky and Reed, all good friends with the ponies – create major entertainment. Lucy the bunny is perfect for snuggling.

In addition, we participate in fairs and parades. The ponies love adventure and don’t mind dressing up a bit! We also welcome volunteers of all ages, here at Cloud 9 Farm. Depending on interests and skill level, volunteers can help us with training, visits, exercising the ponies and doing farm chores. Students from local high schools can receive community service hours.

Leah and Klover are gentle and patient learners and teachers. They are incredible treasures. We are so grateful that the Personal Pony program is letting us love them and share them with the community.

In May 2010, Leah and Klover of the Personal Pony program came to live with us, after the State Director, Gail Schumann, allowed us to become promoters of this exciting program. We are able to bring the ponies anywhere people might benefit from seeing and interacting with them like in classrooms or camps servicing children and adults who are differently abled. Here at our home in Bedford NH, we are also set up to allow families to visit our small farm and interact intimately with the ponies. Our three very personable pygmy goats – Mocha Rose, Rocky and Reed, all good friends with the ponies – create major entertainment. Lucy the bunny is perfect for snuggling.

In addition, we participate in fairs and parades. The ponies love adventure and don’t mind dressing up a bit! We also welcome volunteers of all ages, here at Cloud 9 Farm. Depending on interests and skill level, volunteers can help us with training, visits, exercising the ponies and doing farm chores. Students from local high schools can receive community service hours.

Leah and Klover are gentle and patient learners and teachers. They are incredible treasures. We are so grateful that the Personal Pony program is letting us love them and share them with the community.

In May 2010, Leah and Klover of the Personal Pony program came to live with us, after the State Director, Gail Schumann, allowed us to become promoters of this exciting program. We are able to bring the ponies anywhere people might benefit from seeing and interacting with them like in classrooms or camps servicing children and adults who are differently abled. Here at our home in Bedford NH, we are also set up to allow families to visit our small farm and interact intimately with the ponies. Our three very personable pygmy goats – Mocha Rose, Rocky and Reed, all good friends with the ponies – create major entertainment. Lucy the bunny is perfect for snuggling.

In addition, we participate in fairs and parades. The ponies love adventure and don’t mind dressing up a bit! We also welcome volunteers of all ages, here at Cloud 9 Farm. Depending on interests and skill level, volunteers can help us with training, visits, exercising the ponies and doing farm chores. Students from local high schools can receive community service hours.

Leah and Klover are gentle and patient learners and teachers. They are incredible treasures. We are so grateful that the Personal Pony program is letting us love them and share them with the community.

In May 2010, Leah and Klover of the Personal Pony program came to live with us, after the State Director, Gail Schumann, allowed us to become promoters of this exciting program. We are able to bring the ponies anywhere people might benefit from seeing and interacting with them like in classrooms or camps servicing children and adults who are differently abled. Here at our home in Bedford NH, we are also set up to allow families to visit our small farm and interact intimately with the ponies. Our three very personable pygmy goats – Mocha Rose, Rocky and Reed, all good friends with the ponies – create major entertainment. Lucy the bunny is perfect for snuggling.

In addition, we participate in fairs and parades. The ponies love adventure and don’t mind dressing up a bit! We also welcome volunteers of all ages, here at Cloud 9 Farm. Depending on interests and skill level, volunteers can help us with training, visits, exercising the ponies and doing farm chores. Students from local high schools can receive community service hours.

Leah and Klover are gentle and patient learners and teachers. They are incredible treasures. We are so grateful that the Personal Pony program is letting us love them and share them with the community.

In May 2010, Leah and Klover of the Personal Pony program came to live with us, after the State Director, Gail Schumann, allowed us to become promoters of this exciting program. We are able to bring the ponies anywhere people might benefit from seeing and interacting with them like in classrooms or camps servicing children and adults who are differently abled. Here at our home in Bedford NH, we are also set up to allow families to visit our small farm and interact intimately with the ponies. Our three very personable pygmy goats – Mocha Rose, Rocky and Reed, all good friends with the ponies – create major entertainment. Lucy the bunny is perfect for snuggling.

In addition, we participate in fairs and parades. The ponies love adventure and don’t mind dressing up a bit! We also welcome volunteers of all ages, here at Cloud 9 Farm. Depending on interests and skill level, volunteers can help us with training, visits, exercising the ponies and doing farm chores. Students from local high schools can receive community service hours.

Leah and Klover are gentle and patient learners and teachers. They are incredible treasures. We are so grateful that the Personal Pony program is letting us love them and share them with the community.

Klover loving
Klover loving
Leah gets a kiss
Leah gets a kiss
Leah gets a smile
Leah gets a smile
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Organization Information

PERSONAL PONIES LTD

Location: Charlestown, NH - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Gail M Schumann
Charlestown, NH United States
$10,387 raised of $25,000 goal
 
261 donations
$14,613 to go
Donate Now
$10
USD
Helps pay for feed and hay for a child's pony. Many times paying for pony care can be cost prohibitive and our national office tries to help. Providing money for feed and hay can make a difference.
$25
USD
Helps cover some of the yearly health costs for maintaining a child's pony. Veterinarian fees can be costly, especially given the costs a family faces for the care of a differently able child.
$50
USD
Pays part of transport costs for pony travel. Getting our ponies to the children that need them can be very costly. Transport is one of our biggest challenges
$100
USD
Provides funds for breeding costs for broodmare and foal care. Without volunteer breeders we have no future program. Breeders are in need of financial support at times especially for foaling.
$150
USD
Will cover the costs for a new family to purchase halters, leadlines, water buckets, grooming equipment, and saddles or driving equipment.
$200
USD
Pay the cost of gelding one of our young colts so that he can begin his life as a child's pony friend. All colts not in our breeding program are gelded at around 6 months of age.
$500
USD
Will help care for one of our retired ponies for one year. Retired ponies have given a life of service often need extra care and support. Retired ponies are treated with great care and appreciation.
$2,000
USD
Will be held in savings for emergency care for a pony whose family needs help. Economic conditions or personal situations require emergency financial support so a child can keep his or her ponies.
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