The 2022 Hoofbeats Volunteer training session will be held on April 2nd from 10 am to 2pm. If you have questions please contact the office at 540-464-3337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your help is valuable and we look forward to a great year!
Parelli Foundation Grant Award for Natural Horsemanship
The Parelli Foundation recently awarded $18,949 in Therapeutic Horsemanship and Heroes and Horsemanship grants to seven incredible organizations! Hoofbeats was one of the final three grant recipients of these 2021 grants and was awarded the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Savvy club group membership and equipment grant. For more information you can visit: https://parellifoundation.org/
Dear Hoofbeats Family,
We are looking forward to seeing all of your smiling faces in our upcoming Spring Session at our “new” facility located at 662 Mt. Atlas Road in Lexington. We want to encourage all of our students to get their paperwork in and secure their spot as soon as possible. You can find forms on our website at www.hoof-beats.com/forms.
As we all know, there has been a lot of talk about COVID-19 in the news lately and I want to reassure everyone that we are taking all necessary steps to maintain a healthy environment. On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Governor of Virginia announced an executive order that will close down all non-essential businesses for 30 days. During this time of year, our center is already closed due to being the off-season. However, in light of this order, we will be postponing our open house that was scheduled for April 11, 2020. We will announce a new date in the future. In the meantime, we are planning a virtual tour of our “new” facilities as we are excited to show you these facilities. In addition to our virtual barn tour, we are planning several other videos to keep you all engaged.
Our Spring Session was scheduled to begin on April 21, however, the earliest we will be able to start due to the Governor’s order is April 24th. As of right now, that is what we are planning to do and we are working on an adjusted schedule to be released soon. Please follow us on Facebook and keep an eye on our website for updated information.
We love and miss you all and hope to see you soon.
With Warm Regards and Hugs,
Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center
Blueberry’s Gift is based on a true story of Blueberry, one of Hoofbeats’s past therapy horse. It is written by Hoofbeats Board of Directors member Tenney Mudge, Illustrated by Erika Cummings, and published by Mariner Media of Buena Vista, Virginia. A portion of the books sales will benefit Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center.
Did someone say merch?! We are kicking off our Giving Tuesday 2019 event a bit early, but the weather outside is getting frightful! We are offering unisex t-shirts and hoodies in a variety of colors!
The entire community of Hoofbeats is deeply saddened to share that we have lost a hero and a champion.
Blueberry was peacefully laid to rest on August 19, 2018 at the home of Tenney and Alan where Blueberry had grown and where he had been retired and having fun for 2 great years. Blueberry had served as therapeutic mount for Hoofbeats for over 11 years providing thousands of lessons and thousands of smiles.
We thank you for cheering Blueberry on to greatness as he helped makethe world a better place.We thank you for celebrating his beautiful life and all that he gave to this world.
Nancy Bidlack is a member of the Hoofbeats Advisory Board. She recently was named an EQUUS Foundation Champion and received a pair of Ariat Boots from Ariat International. You can read her story from the EQUUS Foundation newsletter below.
Nancy Bidlack remembers how she felt when Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center opened in 1994. “It was great news! My husband, Rich, and I were so happy to find a place where our disabled son, David, could get exercise, make friends – including shaggy ones – and have tons of fun. Hoofbeats was a godsend.”
Hoofbeats, now located on the Virginia Horse Center grounds, serves riders with a diverse range of physical, mental, and emotional needs “There is something incredibly special and empowering about earning the respect of an animal that weighs over ten times more than you, said Carol Branscome, Hoofbeats’ Director.
Over time, volunteering became a family affair. Nancy started out by writing press releases, then took on grant writing. Rich served on the board of directors, and son Christopher worked on Hoofbeats’ sensory trail for his Eagle Scout project.
“Hoofbeats was the answer to a prayer for our family,” said Nancy. “I volunteer because I know first-hand the joy Hoofbeats brings to disabled children and adults – and their families.”
“Okay, let’s see, I need to groom Harry and Blueberry, put out the western saddle and blue-green reins for Blueberry, and the Passier saddle with child’s stirrups and rainbow reins for Spirit, and….and I am to lead Blueberry for his first rider…got it.” So might begin a morning for me as a Hoofbeats volunteer. Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, located on the grounds of the Virginia Horse Center here in Lexington, provides recreational therapeutic horseback riding for people of all ages with physical or mental disabilities. Most of my involvement happens during the lessons in the riding ring, where I serve either as a “horse leader” (one who leads the horse for a rider incapable of controlling the horse unassisted), or as a “sidewalker” (one who walks at the horse’s side to assist the rider in carrying out the instructor’s directions; sidewalkers may also provide added security by bracing a rider’s leg.) For capable riders who have mastered the basic skills sufficiently to ride independently, I might still be needed in the ring, but as a “spotter”, readily at hand, but prepared to interfere only in an emergency.