Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Horsing around

We have some lovely friends at church who run Michael's Place, a non-profit organization that brings together miniature horses and developmentally disabled adults. Their clients come out to the farm to care for the animals during the week. Marvin and Kash created this place for their son Michael, who has Downs Syndrome. To quote their website, it is a work and recreation programme designed to help individuals grow in self-esteem, confidence, socialization, and acceptance, and become productive individuals recognized for their accomplishments.  Special People with Special Horses. I love it. If you could meet Marv and Kash and Michael, you would feel the love too!
On Monday, I took the local kids, grandkids, and Great Nana out to the farm. Marv and Kash had kindly invited us out to play. 
First we fed the horses a snack of sticky grain. 
A year ago, Kenzie would have freaked out, but she's been taking riding lessons and has become Braveheart.

Miniature horses have inordinately large nostrils for their size.
At least I think so.
Especially when they flare them from being so excited about snack.

Many of them got rambunctious at the sight of the grain bucket.
Little, but fierce.

Brave Kenzie, walking a horse.
The stable and arena are pristine and cool on a hot day.
Lovingly cared for by special people.

Everyone got a chance to lead a horse.
The more timid children were one person removed from the actual animal.
Here's Bethany, looking gorgeous with her newly permed hair and a tan.
With Natalie, who is leery.

Jonnie and Thomy. 

This adorable bundle of fluff is Joey, the resident Pom.

Michael himself, with little Jeff, who is looking delightfully nonchalant.
Natalie and Josh wouldn't ride with Michael.
Marv said I could drive.
So, after one solitary circuit to prove my mettle, here we go!
The hat kind of completes the picture, don't you think?

Josh and Natalie liked this horse best of all.

I am blown away by the love, time, energy, and resources that Marv and Kash put into Michael's Place. 
If sainthood is contagious, I think I'm half way to  Heaven just by knowing them.


  1. I'm so jealous you got to drive! I've always wanted to learn how to do that. :)

  2. What fun! Where did you find the green shoes? I know a little fella who would LOVE some if I could find them here.

  3. Deb, I got them from a website called 6pm, I think they are called Polliwogs. The website has close-out deals of all kinds of brands, I get most of my shoes from them lately.

  4. Good post. They deserve the recognition. (BTW, it's Kash w/ a K.)

  5. Thanks Brenda. I vaguely knew something didn't look right. Duly corrected.

  6. I get rambunctious at the sight of the grain bucket too! AND I have inordinately large nostrils! I may be a miniature horse! LOLOL

    Bethany DOES look gorgeous (you may tell her I said so) and your hat is most inspired. I too am a hat-wearer ... I have at least fifteen faves. They're my one weakness.

    GREAT pics ... my favorite is the one of Kenzie walking the horse down the center of the stable.

  7. Hi Jenny! That's my favourite picture too. Dramatic, I thought.

  8. Very dramatic and ... have you noticed that when you dearly love the subject of your photos, it shows in the photo? That fascinates me.