Sunday 27 November 2016

Heart 2 Heart Endurance

I spent some time yesterday making award placques for some amazing kids. Heart 2 Heart Ranch is having their annual awards and recognition party next week and I volunteered to make placques for the Endurance Riding program.

For the past few years the Owyhee Endurance rides have seen a growing invasion of kids on mules. They aren't just regular old mules, they are race bred mules... and the kids aren't just regular kids, they are special needs children who have found a passion and outlet in riding thanks to Trinity Jackson and Heart 2 Heart Ranch. They show up in droves, and they really ride! Trinity usually sponsors the group, but others have stepped in as well.

We've always given discounts to Juniors at the Owyhee rides, but this year we're letting Juniors ride free! And others are contributing to the 'Juniors Ride Free' fund, including our favorite ride veterinarian who donated part of his fee to the 'mule kids'. The kids and mules always liven up ride camp and the vetting area!

At the recent Halloween ride they came dressed as Dalmations (not quite 101, but still a good showing!)

In 2008 Trinity received a grant from Zion Bank - the Smart Women Grant Award for 'Small Business Startup and Expansion'. That was the beginning of Heart 2 Heart Ranch.

From the H2H Ranch website: Trinity Jackson is a former special education teacher with heart. Owner of the newly created Heart-2-Heart Ranch in Parma, Idaho, Jackson teaches disabled children to ride mules.

Unlike many programs that teach kids how to ride an animal around an arena, Jackson hopes her program will give disabled children confidence by letting them compete at mule rodeos and shows.

"We want to teach them from the very beginning to the end, so that at some point they can be a little more independent and maybe own their own animal someday," Jackson says. "This will teach them responsibility and bring them self-confidence and self-esteem."

A mother of three, Jackson used grant funds to purchase additional acreage for the ranch near her home and to buy an arena so the kids can receive training year-round.

"We are trying to make it very affordable, like signing your child up to play T-ball," Jackson says. "We want whole families to be able to participate." The program will serve children across the spectrum of disabilities and in the future will include curriculum for nondisabled siblings as well.

I love it that we can share our sport and our rides with so many different people, and kids. (and mules!)


Wednesday 16 November 2016

Rapa Nui - looking back

A gray November morning, wondering about the coming winter project (I always have some project going!) and thinking back to the years of traveling around the world. November, six years ago, I was just home from an endurance ride on Easter Island - Rapa Nui - a most amazing opportunity, unforgettable images. I thought it might be fun to look back a bit until I get further inspired for this winter's project.

The story and all the photos are on Endurance.Net at

This photo is of the wrangler (native Rapa Nui riding in flip-flops ) that helped us select our horses for the race.

Horses are everywhere on Easter Island - very few cars, so people ride horses, and they basically have open range on the Island. Everybody knows whose horses belong to whom and they just graze them wherever it is possible. (for example beside this moai)

It was fun going back and reading the travel notes. While I was down there I had just seen the film documentary "180 Degrees South" - a road/boat trip down the pacific coast to Patagonia. The sound track by Ugly Casanova always reminds me of this time.

Steph Teeter