Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Last week Stoner Ridge Farm had the privilege of hosting Emma DeWeese in order to help her live her dream with the help of the Make a Wish Foundation. When interviewed, Emma decided she wanted a Rocky Mountain horse of her own and to be able to come and train with Robert. She wanted to learn more about the how to show and compete in the rated trail rides that are sponsored by the RMH. Last week, Emma and Robert worked together to help Emma and her new mare, Shannon, be able to work as a team. Ten year old Shannon needed a refresher course on how to be responsive to leg pressure and how to give to the bit. When Emma tried to get her to back up, she would brace against the bit and throw her head in the air. Well, Robert and Emma started in the round pen. Emma was an active participant with all phases of training. They all made a great team. Robert helped Emma learn how to establish respect and how to help her mare learn to bend and flex on the ground and while Emma was on her back. Emma's mom, Chris, also stayed a few days to make sure Emma would be comfortable here at the farm. It was exciting to see improvements each day as Emma and Robert worked together. Before we knew it, it was Friday and almost time for Emma to return home. We decided that we needed to celebrate all that Emma and Shannon had accomplished so we had a cook out and let Emma share what she had learned. I guess there were about 25 people here. Robert asked Emma if she would like to tell everyone what her goals for the week had been and what had been accomplished. Then he let Emma demonstate her new skills by putting her and Shannon in the round pen. He asked Emma to flex her horse and yield her hind quarters. She also showed everyone how she had helped Shannon learn to respect her space and to come into her only when she asked. Then she got on Shannon and demonstrated how easily she backed. The moved from the round pen to the rail where Emma rode at a calm, quiet walk and a more antimated show gait. It was beautiful to see the degree of harmony they had achieved in less than a week's time. After Emma finished showin what she had learned, we all played corn hole and sat around visiting. It was great to have Emma's mom and dad, Frank, and her brother, Tyler, as well and Barbara and Jerry Stains all the way from Louisville. I'm sure Emma will continue to work with her mare and help her continue to learn and grow. She showed a great deal of maturity and equestrian knowledge while she was here. I'm really looking forward to watching them at the International in September. What a fantastic experience it has been for all of us!

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