We visited your farm on Monday, May 4th for a home school field trip. It was a very informative and interesting trip for the whole group. Thanks to Lauren and all of her helpers in putting together such a worthwhile event. God has created us
(and animals) so wonderfully and uniquely!
My son, Nathan, was inspired to write this poem and I thought I should share it with you:
They feed on wild grasses always.
Their leader contemplates their next move.
The leader’s slight movement compels them to leap away from the
They trample the ground with their hooves.
Their silky manes fly in the wind while behind them a long and thick
tail bounces around.
They are horses.
Jenny, Nathan, and Owen (who asks a lot of questions!)
Hi Miss Ann!
Our time with Mango went spectacularly well on many levels. First, it humbled me to my inner struggles with fear of losing control and fear of unknowns. Before Lauren arrived, Mango had a right-brained moment that scared me, and I felt rather, well, lost alone and scared. She's definitely a different horse than Sampson. It made me thoroughly appreciate Richard's family's investment in teaching Sampson the Parelli "language", and all of Miriam's patient and consistent work with him. We found that while it was challenging to communicate with Mango without a clear common language, she was sweet, very very smart, eager to please, and eager to learn. We found the horsenality Do/Don't advice for LBI/RBIs to be fabulous tools to connect with her.
Most of all, I want to share a very eye opening experience I had with Miss Lauren. Ann, she is an absolute gem. I began our lesson just wanting to talk about the right-brain scare when Mango was so alarmed, to analyze Mango's thoughts and how to help her feel more confident with things like wind gusts and waving flags. My focus was on helping Mango and wanting so much to meet and exceed all the expectations I had set upon myself for this to all work out just perfectly and smoothly, and I had tears in my eyes. Ever so gently and without any hint of criticism or shaming, Miss Lauren helped me realize I was feeling more RBI than Mango! Not only that, she so graciously and gently helped ME approach and retreat from the situation, gave me permission to feel how I was feeling, helped me think about it, calm myself, and settle back into feeling like "me" again. And in those moments, a huge lightbulb shined--- THIS is what it feels like when a horse feels RBI- pressure, from all sides, wanting to just cry, not sure where to turn or what to do, AND THIS is what makes Lauren so special- she is so very gifted in gently guiding an RBI to a safe place mentally and physically and without any sort of "shame on you- aren't you a grown woman? Toughen up trooper!" It was exactly what I needed. I can't tell you how priceless that lesson was for me. Plus I have a new empathy for RBI-feeling horses and how the teacher/human can make all the difference in making a difficult moment a rich experience instead of a traumatizing one. If I were a horse feeling an RBI moment, I would wish an angel sent Lauren to help me.
I also came to thoroughly appreciate Miriam's knowledge and experience gained from her human and horse teachers. It was a unique flip of roles- daughter gives mama some great tips and encouragement!
In the end, I shared all the details with Meaghan and was honest that I'm not ready yet to commit to leasing Mango and I'd like to reassess next month. In the meantime I offered to teach her some Parelli games, familiarize her intentionally with new stimuli, and give her some love and attention. She accepted my offer and I'm elated. I'll see how the month goes and what new exciting things I learn about Mango, life, and myself.
I've always thought Equine Therapy was a good idea, especially for special education kids. I thought it took place at special scheduled times in structured ways. I never realized its organic nature with a gifted teacher and that it's good for all of us- we could all use a little "special" "education" from a teacher like Lauren!!!!! And what an awesome feeling to feel just happily accepted as human and not "retarded" or "stupid" while learning such wonderful life lessons! Lol!
Thank you so much, Miss Ann, for your farm and the people and horses who connect on your farm!!!
God bless! -Angela
I just wanted to send you a quick email to thank you for everything you have done for me and my furry babies. Because of you one of my biggest dreams came true today. I was able to ride Celeste today for the first time! All the vets she had seen when she was a baby said it wouldn't have happened but since she came to your property she has gotten so much better. I don't think it is just your grass but everything you provide and the peaceful, loving environment. Both of my horses have gotten so much better. I thought I'd send you a picture(although its not great) of our accomplishment today. Also I thought you might like to see pictures of them before we came to your place.
I hope to see you very soon,
Good afternoon Ann.
I just wanted to thank you again for taking Faith in for the lessons. I can't even come close in explaining how happy and energized she has become. You have amazing friends/staff, a beautiful farm and wonderful and beautiful horses. Faith told me after the last lesson that it was so nice to ride a horse that listened to her. Faith is also in LOVE with Madalyn (and so are Brian and I). I have never seen Faith take in so much new stuff, remember it and not ask "is it over yet". This is something that is unheard of for a five-year-old. Madalyn definitely has a way with kids.
Country Life Living Farm has been amazing for my daughter. She has developed so much patience and compassion as she has learned Parelli. This patience has carried over to her relationship with others and especially with her brothers. She has taken lessons with both Madalyn and Laura and we have been so impressed with their knowledge and their positive attitudes. Both of these young ladies have been wonderful role models for my daughter; I cannot imagine her learning from anyone else. We are currently boarding two of our horses at Red Hill Farm and they have been very happy and healthy there.
The riding club has also been great for my daughter. She looks forward to the meetings and has gained many friends through this club. Summer camp was awesome last year and we are really looking forward to it this year! I really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at Country Life Farm. I love to sit in the shade of the porch and chat with Ann or other parents while my daughter is taking her lessons. I love to see my daughters confidence increase as she learns. This to me is invaluable. I am so grateful to Ann and Country Life Living Farm!
My family and I have recently relocated to NC with our 3 horses. Prior to our move, we spent a great deal of time trying to find the right barn. After several barn tours in the area and much research, we decided that Country Life Living Farm was the right place for us and our geldings.
Country Life is not a show barn. It is a place for horse owners who truly care about their horses, having a natural relationship with them and feeling at ease knowing that there is no need to impress. Country Life is a haven for horses and people alike.
My relationship with our horses has strengthened as a result of being at Country Life Living. Working with the instructors and other friends at the farm, I have learned a great deal about Parelli's teaching methods and can attest that "love, language and leadership" are spoken at the farm.
After making the 900 mile trip down to NC, I am still confident that we made the right choice by Country Life Living Farm.
Avery, my granddaughter, started taking lessons with Mallory when she was 8 years old, never having ridden a horse before that time. Because of Mallory, she is now a confident horse person, both playing on the ground with and riding the different horses at Red Hill Farm. It's been almost 3 years and Avery never misses a lesson - she loves it - and Mallory. She has her Level 2 Parelli and is working on Level 3. To watch Mallory with a horse is amazing. She has skill and insight and almost a sixth sense when working with horses - her own or the horses at the farm. She's run the last 3 years of summer camps Avery has attended and makes it both fun and educational for the kids. She has gone out of her way to get to know Avery and put her with the right horses. I admire her as a person, as well as her talent. In Avery's words, "Mallory is good with kids, a leader, fun, knows what to do in every situation. and always wants what is best for the horse and you".
Avery and Strawberry Kiwi