In Memory of Ann Bragg ( Mom ).
Her love of horses goes back as far as she can remember. She started riding horses when she was 9 years old. She remembers renting horses so she could ride. Her love of horses is profound. Of horses, Ann says, "I think they are the most beautiful creatures that God created." The majority of Ann's life has been around horses. Ann has two grown sons. One of her sons, Van, now owns and operates the farm.
Ann's love of horses and of people is evident in all she did. She was knowledgeable, caring, fun-loving, and giving. She enjoyed sharing her knowledge and love of horses with everyone. Ann loved Parelli and what it can do for both the horse and the rider. When asked about Parelli Ann said, "We can learn a lot from horses and the way they treat each other and we can learn a lot from Parelli. Parelli improves our relationship with our horses but it can also improve our human relationships.
Independent Instructor ; Lauren Welt
Lauren has had a passion for horses since she was 7 years old. She fell in love with horses when she took care of a summer camp horse over a winter. She fondly remembers training a horse all the way from "green" (horse having had no training) to being able to show jump with him. She spent many summers as a therapeutic, occupational and recreational riding instructor and counselor for both children and adults. She continues doing this at Country Life Living Farm and loves it! Pictured here is Lauren and her horse, Mike.....otherwise known as "Michael Man" by her students.
Lauren attended Norwich University where she received her degree in Social Work. She has been married for 33 years and has 4 children and 3 grandchildren. She ran a Christian homeschool for their two youngest children after moving to NC. All four of her children have now graduated.
Her family moved to NC in 2001 from MA. She loves it here and lives in Wake Forest. Since her move she has been teaching traditional riding and horse care lessons. She was introduced to the Parelli method in 2009 and has been doing it ever since. "I like having the horses wanting to be willing participants and not to be intimidated into doing something." She is now a certified L2+ Parelli graduate with a L3 in Relationship and Friendly Savvy and a L3++ in Exuberance.
"It is wonderful to see people achieving their dreams and enjoying one of God's many blessings.....HORSES!
Watch Lauren and Mike's L2 Audition. They Passed!!
Lauren and Brewster L2 Freestyle Audition https://youtu.be/k4JIYKPrnW0
Van Reynolds ; Owner / Operator
Van moved out to the farm when his father in law passed and became the helping hand to his mom, ( Ann ). He lives on site and maintained the farm's pastures and fences, etc. in addition to feeding and caring for the horses and being the safety net to all the people whenever needed. Van now operates Country Life Living Farm.
Van doesn't consider himself a "trainer" but is quite knowledgeable about horses and has a special way with them and their humans, and all the other animals on the farm.
Everyone feels safer when they know Van is nearby. When Van is asked, How do you do it all ? He says " It's The Grace of God, It's Just The Grace of God that I am able to do it all ".
Melissa Welt ; Farm Family
Melissa came to the farm at the age of 13. Melissa didn't own a horse then, but fell in love with Joey pictured here. Melissa just had to have Joe's' so she worked out a deal with the owner and went to work. Working on the farm for the boarding fee and also launching a handygirl service business; painting, grass cutting, and pet setting, as time passed, Melissa had paid in full for Joe's'. Melissa went on to showing in English, Western and Gaming with Joe's' and in the first year was Reserve Champion in the circuit. After retiring Joe's' from showing Melissa desired to get a couple foals from Joe's' and now Joey has passed down her awesome disposition to a Paint Colt named Maverick and is now a gelding and a Paint Philly Foal named Cowgirl. Melissa also does mentoring programs aimed toward equine ground and show.
During the passing of time Melissa has put herself through school for a phlebotomist certification, and canine grooming certification. Melissa is also the owner of Guntunamo's Blue Kennel which is an AKC breeder of Australian Shepherds, AussieDoodles and Mobile canine grooming business. Melissa now lives in Florida on a farm she manages. We miss her here at Country Life. Melissa visits regularly and hopefully one day Melissa will visit us and end up staying. The farm isn't the same without her here.
Ephesians 2:8 KJV
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.