MY THEN STORY
OUR NOW STORY!
Why we named our farm the Enchanted Carousel Horses.
(Allow me a little story telling liberty. This is where I go off professional mode for just a moment because it really is our modern day fairy tale)
I have always said when you get horses your life is NEVER the same..... Well, I never knew how much that would change when I started giving lessons to these young gifted riders!
Years ago, when I quit my day job and started lessons full time, I have to admit, I was a little scared to let go of my desk and punch in at the barn. In three short years now, I look up at the stars when I am putting the horses up for the night and I am thankful!
I am thankful for this beautiful, roller coaster of excitement, magically entwined with dirt and fuzzy ponies job! Watching these young children grow and learn to become good horse handlers is great, BUT IT'S NOT JUST THAT....watching them learn to be great at helping each other around the barn, making friends that they wouldn't have had the chance too if not for ponies. When a newcomer finally is ready for their first group lesson, and I ask a pink cheeked and pig tailed 12 yr old cowgirl, to go help our newest rider pick out the correct saddle pad for their pony they will be working with together that night...and she takes the newcomer over to the different racks and begins to explain why that saddle pad is right for that paticular pony....the same theories on saddle fit vs. the horses back conformation, etc, which I have said to them over and over again makes me smile from ear to ear.
BECAUSE I REMEMBER THE DAY MISS PIGTAILS FIRST CAME TO ME AND COULDN'T MAKE EYE CONTACT WHEN SHE TALKED TO ANYONE, LET ALONE KIDS HER OWN AGE WHILE SHE TEACHES THEM THE ROPES IN A "SUPERVISOR POSITION"...it brings a tear to my eye. That is pony magic!
It struck me that every person that leaves here after a ride on these ponies is NOT the same person that arrived. Sometimes it's so tiny a change, you barely notice.....sometimes it's not the child at all. Sometimes it's a parent that brought the child here for their lessons that undergoes the big change. What they thought was simply being a good parent coming to the next "THING" they would buy outfits and gear for ..turns out is the very thing they have been missing in their office cubicle, whats on tv tonight, low carb life. That is a little of the freedom of being unplugged. No cell phones, no tv's. Just horses, children and nature.
BUT other times the change is so big like the pink cheeked, pig tailed 12 yr old I mentioned( who begged her mom to quit school, because the other kids picked on her....and all she would do is stare at her feet) She is now helping the nervous new comer to the group lesson like an old cowpoke hand, that change is so dramatic that it makes you think there must be a certain kind of magic to these ponies.
These horses really are changing people and making a big difference in their lives. And I get to sit on the sidelines and watch it happen. It's a pretty amazing job!
SO CAME THE NAME OF OUR FARM:
THE ENCHANTED CAROUSEL HORSES FARM! All our horses are a little different, we have GYPSY VANNERS, QH'S, PAINTS, HAFFLINGERS, SHETLANDS, and TWO GOATS! They are all a completely different color, size, and personality. Like the people that come here from all corners of life.
Exactly like a carousel! But we're all on the same ride!
So step right up and punch your ticket! Pick out your pony, and get a good grip for the ride of your life! Who will you be when you get off the ENCHANTED CAROUSEL?
THE TEAM OF THE ENCHANTED CAROUSEL HORSES!
I have learned to surround myself, not with people that are exactly like me, but with people that have the same like mindedness and are STRONG in areas besides just in the arena on a horse. After all, nobody needs two salt shakers do they? Nope, they need a salt and pepper shaker, very alike, not the same at all, and compliment each other well. These smart people helping me are able to fill in any cracks I may have.
- Shane London, my husband and the man muscle around our farm. He works away all week at his union sprinkler fitter job and comes home to fix fence, and run the skid steer. When I second guessed myself and thought about staying at my job and not working for myself...he pushed me ahead and said, you are going to be brilliant now go ride your horse. He keeps track of house bills, car repair, horse trailer repair, and maintenance on the barn. My husband really takes his share of the work around here. FUNNY ENOUGH HE ALWAYS WANTED TO STAY BEHIND THE SCENES...UNTIL THIS YEAR AT THE HORSE EXPO! We finally got him to ride in the arenas in the spotlight! We are never looking back now. All expo demo's will have him on the roster for sure. The kids all love him as much as they do me or the goats...so he is now finding himself leading and assisting during lessons. Helping put saddles on the high racks, or getting things for the littles on their pony...so they don't have to waste a minute out of the saddle!
- Emma Faulkner, a client, that has been with me for a very long time, knows a lot of my training techniques, has a GREAT work ethic, very organized, and has no ego or uphandedness about her. Which in turn makes my young students like her very much. I utilize Emma when I need an extra hand during group lessons. Painting obstacles. Organizing small events here and running the timer at fun shows. She is a big asset, and I look forward to the day I am big enough facility to have my first real employee...and actually pay her what she is worth!. Pure GOLD just like her heart!!!! She is also my go to for all the non profits we do at Christmas time! From leading the ponies to getting change! Thank you Emma!
- Lanie Davis, my mother. She is the smartest business woman I know. Also the former owner of the stallion Jaguar whom promotes him like she is his personal manager! She pushed me to be where am I today...She is a cheerleader and a pro football coach rolled into one. With a little of the Nanny mixed in. We are very much the same, except my mom can see the big picture on everything...and she can make smart educated business decisions financially and never second guesses herself. She is slowly teaching me. She has also taught me how to think outside the box. On everything. My mom is a very big personality, with an even bigger brain and a heart to match. I hope someday to be able to have her vision for the future in horses and what's the next big "thing". Until then, I consult her.
- Rick Davis, my father. He is a big part of me being successful. It always ends up being me and dad working together at shows/vet emergencies/and loading problem horses. He also has a nice Kubota tractor.. He taught me how you can't be mad when you are in the saddle. Which is saying a lot, because he was raised with rough neck cowboys and the meaner they were, the tougher they looked. So they thought. My dad was not afraid to go against the grain in kindness. He sparked the flame for me to take it a step further. We still go riding. We have matching horses.
- Terri and Jamie Luzier, Terri is a childhood friend who had a love of horses and shared mine with me frequently. We still share them to this day. She encourages my ideas, gives me new ones (always shoving me in the direction of writing, she's currently pushing for a childrens' book) She is a big fuel for my fire behind ideas, and how to make "things work". Her husband Jamie, is always helping where needed, whether pulling his daughters horse to our events, keeping us gals from over reacting (giggles) and if you were at the Harrisburg Horse expo he was the muscle behind carrying our pedestal out to the middle of the arena. Even the youngest daughters could be spied in the stalls with the vanners and a comb. I would be lost without this family. I can never thank them enough.
- Katie Luzier, riding student that I utilize when hosting Birthday pony parties. I pay her in riding lessons. She is a valuable asset to me, excellent with small children, soft spoken handler with my ponies, and can work harder than most adults I know. Her entire family is a big help, her mother Terri always giving me good advice on how to make my plans become attainable, lending me a hand at creativity, and helped name our farm. Jamie, her father has helped Shane with the "muscle' work around here, and her little sisters, have been seen grooming the horses at the horse world expo! You all are wonderful!
- Emily Quick, first came to me around the age of 12 for a riding lesson on her paint pony/horse. Now getting ready to graduate and doing her internship here, she has been a blessing! Helping with group lessons, assisting with starting halter breaking weanlings, and trouble shooting from the side lines the bad behavior in the horses here for training. She is wonderfully quiet in her approach, has excellent horsemanship, and all the horses seem to favor her very much as do all the people here at our barn. The children love her as do the parents.