Special Olympics

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Thank you to all of our riders, horses, volunteers, family and friends who made this year’s Special Olympics a true success.

Last Saturday, the riders competed at the Hoofbeats Center rather than at the Va. Horse Center Complex, as in years past. The athletes came from all over Rockbridge County, southern Virginia, and even West Virginia.

Despite 90-degree weather, the riders breezed through their equitation, dressage, trail, and musical classes, laughing and encouraging one another.

This year, the show was held in the summer session and not in conjunction with VMI, which usually sends cadet volunteers in uniform. But three VMI students in Lexington taking summer classes still came out to volunteer and spend time with our riders.

After a successful show, the riders and families crowded into the Center’s living room to celebrate with an awards ceremony, ice cream social, and impromptu dance party.

Congratulations to all our champions!

By B. Jinae Kennedy

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Justin Time Paints with a Purpose

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A very special art exhibition will be on display at the Rockbridge Regional Library for the month of June. The artist, Justin Time, is a 20-year-old Arabian horse who paints with a brush held in his teeth. The canvases in the library are for sale and all proceeds from his work will go to Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center. 
Justin’s story of rescue and rehabilitation is a familiar one at Hoofbeats.  In March of 2011, Brook Hill Horse Rescue and Montgomery County Animal Control responded to a repeated report of animal abuse. They rescued a 16-year-old Arabian gelding suffering from starvation and accelerated skin rot.
 
Just a few months later, this horse found a new name and a forever home in Lexington. He was adopted by an extraordinarily loving family and transformed into a healthy riding horse and an award-winning painter. After his rescue and rehabilitation, he now spends comfortable days grazing, giving rides across the countryside, and painting for a good cause.
 
 Justin Time’s mission is to help people with special needs – whether physical, emotional, or mental – find healing by riding very special horses. All proceeds from his paintings benefit this mission. His work will be displayed for sale in the Rockbridge Regional Library for the whole month of June. For more information please contact Hoofbeats Volunteer Jennifer Humphrey at jenniferwhumphrey@gmail.com or by phone at 540-817-1893.
By Jinae Kennedy 

Bonnie Blue Show

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On May 7, four Hoofbeats riders performed the opening drill and flag ceremony for the Bonnie Blue Horse Show in the Coliseum of the Virginia Horse Center. Rocking out as usual, our little riders executed their routine to some hip tunes, setting the tone for a great event. The Bonnie Blue show team presented a surprise blue ribbon to each Hoofbeats rider for their excellent performance. Thanks drill team!

Admiring her well-earned blue ribbon

Admiring her well-earned blue ribbon

In the Coliseum waiting for riders to mount

In the Coliseum waiting for riders to mount

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Everybody at Hoofbeats is enjoying the successful launch of a new season.

We have some new horsey faces around the barn. Check out the updated “Meet the Horses” page.

— Pictures from this week’s lessons —

Getting her pony ready!

Getting her pony ready!

Lessons

Lessons

Focusing on tacking up.

Focusing on tacking up.

Coming soon:

On May 7, Hoofbeats riders will perform as the opening drill team at the Bonnie Blue Invitational at the Virginia Horse Center.

On May 10, Hoofbeats is hosting Hear the Beats Fundraiser Horse Show. It proves loads of fun every year.

Ham it up guys!

Last Year’s Hear the Beats Show. “Ham it up guys!” Carol says. 

We’re Back!

Hoofbeats is back and getting ready for Spring Lessons.

Hoofbeats is back and getting ready for Spring Lessons.

Never mind the rain!

Never mind the rain!

Happy (almost) spring!

After a long winter, Hoofbeats staff and volunteers are busy preparing for Spring Lessons, scheduled to begin April 1. The barn is full again. The horses finally came back last week and Saturday the 14th was the first day of schooling them. It rained most of the day, churning the ring into a lovely milkshake consistency, but mud did not deter us!

Henry, Harry, Blueberry, Spirit, Hermes, and Commander are back, along with two new horses: Lillie and Grayson. Lillie is a lovely gray Arabian, rescued by Maria and here at Hoofbeats for her 90 day trial as a therapy horse. She is a sweetheart, and we really hope that therapy is the right job fit for her!  Grayson grew up with Commander. We call them brothers. He is a talented 23 year old and knows a lot of fun tricks! If you call, “Grayson!” and hold up your hands like you’re taking a picture, he will “pose” and “smile” for you.

The horses, volunteers, and staff at Hoofbeats are excited about the upcoming spring session. Hopefully see you soon!

http://www.hoof-beats.com

By B. Jinae Kennedy

Hermes

Hermes

One of our young volunteers is excited about helping train horses for April lessons.

One of our young volunteers is excited about helping train horses for April lessons.

Two of our incredible volunteers.

Two of our incredible volunteers.

Kelly, an intern, is training Spirit.

Kelly, an intern, is training Spirit.

Commander and friend.

Commander and friend.