Come join us on June 11 from 10:30 – 12:30 as we showcase our students’ work and riding skills. This will be the first time in almost 3 years’ that our horses have gotten the chance to perform in front of people, so our offerings will be laid back and interesting. There will also be HippityHop Shop items for sale, a small bake sale, pony rides at intermission, a raffle drawing, and loads of fun!! Our friend Roger the Jester will help make this a true Circus! Tell your friends!
$20 parking fee, no admission fee.
Blue Rider’s Spring Raffle!!
The Spring Raffle will help raise money for our retired equines, Oskar and Billy Boy, which will begin the day of our much anticipated Circus!
$10 = 1 Ticket ~ $50 = 6 Tickets
With each ticket you have 50 different prizes you can win~ and each ticket has a 1 in 5 chance to win!!
Click the link to find more information on Circus/Spring Raffle or purchase your tickets and see our prizes!
This year we once again couldn’t have our annual Fun Day, but we have an exciting fundraiser that every one of you can participate in from anywhere! The first annual Wings for Willie Ride-a-thon!! Wait! I hear some family and friends clicking away because you don’t ride, but you can participate too. You can track miles for any kind of movement, walk, run, bike, skate, and more. The ride-a-thon will run from now through October 29th and we will be sharing soon about a special spooky event to celebrate your hard work when it ends!
Sign up athttps://go.dojiggy.io/wingsforwilliecreating a team or joining one that already exists. Not sure what to name your team? Think about naming it after one of the horses since this is all about supporting their healthcare needs. Now, ask friends and family to join your team or to donate. They can sponsor you per lap or mile or make a one time donation in any amount. By having a virtual ride-a-thon it means you can get support or participate from anywhere in the world. There are prizes too! Any participant who raises at least $100 will receive an exclusive shirt in memory of Willie and the team that raises the most money and the team that moves the greatest distance will each get special prizes. We are counting on you to make this event huge and will be sprinkling some fun challenges and prizes throughout the month as well. Questions? Email us at email@example.com and we will get back to you!
Click herefor a quick video on how to set up a team on DoJiggy!
Over the last couple of weekends, our instructor, Becky and Svaði went out on some field trips to show off how amazing a team they are – and just how versatile our herd is.
By day, they are, an instructor and a lesson horse, as well as fuzzy therapist.
But come the weekend, they…
(in the form of dressage – which is a fancy French word meaning “Training”, it shows connection between horse and rider, and how well they work as a team)
And then cap it all off with the most graceful of endings.
Two of our junior instructors got a chance to go along and experience the event as well. It was deemed a good time by all, including Svaði! Its not all work (though there is a fair amount of that!). There is some time for fun and games too.
Congratulations to Becky and Svaði, on their successful outings, full of beautiful colors and a few ribbons!
Photo credit, once again, to our amazing photographer, Caitlin von Graf, who also just happens to be Becky’s sister! Check out her Instagram page HERE !
We are so happy to be able to share our horses and therapy with everyone again. Because we work with many immune suppressed clients, we ask everyone who uses our facilities to please adhere to our face covering, social distancing, and restricted areas guidelines. A video is posted under programs as to what you can expect when you come to lessons. We are grateful for the support we have received in helping us keep a safe environment for all. If you are interested in programs, please email or call, we will respond in as timely a fashion as we can.
On a different, exciting note – we will welcome a new mare to our herd tomorrow. She is an Icelandic, 6 years old, and her name is Hekla. More about her to follow…
George adopted Tom in November 2009, long before we knew he was coming to us. Tom found him in the C Barn at the Equine Affaire in Springfield, a yearly educational outing that Blue Rider takes. They quietly became friends, with Tom hanging out with him for three days. Tom wanted to bring him home, but George wasn’t up for adoption; he had his forever home after being through some very bad life experiences. We did talk about how a mammoth donkey could be good for therapy and riding, and to keep it in mind for the future.
Six months later, George came to us. His forever home changed due to the debilitating illness of his owner. He came scared, timid, but oh so slowly one foot in front of the other. He was just like picking up a Dr. Seuss book, making no sense and the most sense all at once. Not really fitting together in his body, but not needing to be any other way. He had gone through so much suffering, in all phases of his being, and still stood tall and centered.
We learned much through him. The biggest thing was that if we held on to our expectations, we would get nowhere. He was not here to earn Blue Rider money, or even to pay for his keep. Every step of the way was an adventure. George frightened easily, but his huge heart let him overcome these obstacles, as long as we loved him and stayed with him. The world was terrifying, and rightly so, with his background. He took challenges seriously, with much thought. Therapy donkey, yes! Riding donkey, only on his terms. Trail ride, so much fun until we turned to go home. Vaulting, sure. He had one goal and one goal only, as told to our animal communicator: to be the ambassador of love for Blue Rider. And this he did with a passion. Greeting people at the gate. Following people until they leaned into him for a hug. Getting people to hold his big head up for him so he could snuggle. Every child felt safe with him in camp. People congregated around him. He loved to stand with anyone, but if he was standing shielding a person between him and the wall, we learned to leave him the space the two beings needed to converse. His big ears are a symbol of his ability to listen. He took three years to find his voice, his foghorn bray thrills us all. His tongue hanging out the right side of his mouth was the way he portrayed happiness until then. He loved the trick he learned with Anna, being a donkey slide for the children. Happiness poured from his body.
In the last months, George hasn’t been the greeter as much. He doesn’t move around much. His feet pain him constantly, getting up and down is difficult, but staying on his feet is unbearable. We have him on pain medications, but in the past week this isn’t enough relief any more.
Now George is asking to take his next journey. Our act of love to him is to help him on this journey, with no backward glance. True love means letting go, and he has asked to let go of his earth body. He wants to go with a flower wreath around his neck. So do this for George – pick a flower bouquet (dandelions are fine!), sit and think of your experiences with George, and send him love as he crosses this bridge.
What a whirlwind of a week and a half! Oskar has healed magnificently after his kick to the head. He will get his stitched out on Friday, April 17. He has been off pain medication and is happy enough, though grumpy that his human friends aren’t here.
George is doing well with his new medication, even trotting and cantering around at times.
Garuda is home and faring well. His rehab is going very slowly due to time and weather constraints.
All of this is possible because of you, our amazing community. Your generosity helps us keep these horses and donkeys safe and well. Thank you!