Thank you to the Hope College students who did a fantastic job serving at Renew for their Days of Service volunteer project! We put the group of 20 volunteers to work in the pasture cleaning the outdoor shelter area and mucking the surrounding paddocks, helping with a hay delivery, fixing the netting on the feed stations, sweeping, and general barn clean up. It was wonderful to have such a great group come to help out around the barn, we enjoyed having you. Many of the students in this group were first-time volunteers at Renew. Please know you are always welcome to come back. We love our volunteers and Hope students have a special place in our hearts! If you could use a break from class and studying during the
Ashley (Age 16) has been interning with us this week through Holland Christian High School’s “Winterim” program. Students receive credit for interning at a local organization and must complete 30 hours of practical work experience. The purpose for the internship is to offer students exposure in a field of interest which may impact career direction. Ashley stated she chose Renew for her placement because she has an interest in both, horses and working with special needs individuals. She worked with horses several years ago while her sister leased a horse and she was able to learn about caring for them and riding during that time. She was also on the equestrian team in middle school. Ashley also mentioned that she has volunteered for Ottawa Area Center (a public school
Merry Christmas to you and your family from our Renew team! We hope you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. We loved celebrating with Santa during our Christmas Open House and we had such a fun time making memories. Here are some of our favorite photos with good ole St. Nick.
We had a great turnout for our “Taking the Lead” horse training. “Taking the Lead” is an innovative teaching method created by Sandy Webster. Sandy is a friend of Renew and has over 30 years of experience in the field. Sandy visited Renew in 2015 to implement the first “Taking the Lead” clinic at our location. If was so effective that since 2015 we have implemented her training at least once annually, which is now taught by our instructors. A primary goal of “Taking the Lead” is to enhance trust between the horse and his or her leader and thus enhance the working relationship. Naturally, this process also has positive effects for the rider. Some of the highlights of the training include: desensitizing our horse partners, demonstrating consistent
PATH International (Intl.) stands for Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship and is the premier credentialing organization for our industry of equine-assisted activities and therapies. This organization provides certification for instructors and equine specialists for accredited centers on an international scale. The strict guidelines and high standards make this certification well sought-after and highly respected within the industry. Their mission is “to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs.” We, at Renew, are proud to say that our center is accredited and all of our instructors are PATH Intl. certified. We attained our center accreditation in 2016 and we require each of our lesson instructors to be certified before teaching lessons. As part of PATH Intl., our instructors are invited to attend and
We had a wonderful group of volunteers from EverGreen Ministries in Hudsonville come to help at Renew today. Approximately 20 high school students and a handful of leaders from their Student Ministries Fall Camp were ready to jump right in and handle any task at hand. They completed a range of projects for us and we even had a bunch of students volunteer with enthusiasm to clear manure from the pasture in the pouring rain – talk about being ready and willing to serve! Thank you so much for your joyful hearts, laughter, and hard work today!
Renew Treasurer and dedicated Volunteer, Deb VanSchepen, shares a heartfelt message about her experience with two Renew students from the Summer of 2017. Deb begins, “I volunteered on Thursdays this summer and was blessed to work with Allison (Instructor) and Kelli (Volunteer). We had two students in the afternoon that have been forever woven into the fabric of my heart and life. John and Sam became part of my weekly routine and I looked forward to seeing them every bit as much as they looked forward to riding! I first met John during our school group last spring. His dad came to observe lessons a couple of times and decided to continue John’s lessons during the summer term. The highlight for me was watching him participate in our Ride-A-Thon event.
Did you know … on October 7, 2017 we took 3 students to the Reins of Life Dressage Show in Michigan City, Indiana? It was a wonderful day where the students were able to participate in an inclusive horse show environment to demonstrate their skills and be recognized for their accomplishments. For 2 of our students, it was their first horse show experience. We brought home multiple ribbons and could not be prouder of our participants and horses!
Thank you to all who came out to support our 2017 Fall Festival! We had great attendance and much fun was had last Saturday, September 30, 2017. Our horse/pony trick-or-treat rides were a highlight of the afternoon. We served 82 riders with this event activity alone. Many participants also enjoyed hay rides, cart rides, photo op station, homemade baked goods, grilled hot dogs, face painting, freshly popped popcorn, apple bobbing, and root beer floats. In addition, many enjoyed fellowship as members of our community came together in support of the occasion. Many thanks to all who participated in event planning, preparation, and serving throughout the day. A special thank you to the Holland High School Girl’s Swimming and Diving Team – 16 teammates donated their time that afternoon
Friday, September 29, 2017, was a particularly special day. That afternoon, many gathered together to celebrate the life of a wonderful woman. Janet was a dear student of ours at Renew, who passed away on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at the age of 74. Janet began riding at Renew this past year during the Spring Session. What began as a gift from her two daughters, Teresa and Jacki, to give their mom “one last ride” turned into 8 complete therapeutic riding lessons. Melissa Conner, Executive Director and Janet’s primary Instructor, stated, “The first time Janet came to visit us it went so well her daughters wanted their mom to continue riding. Next thing we knew she was enrolled in and completed lessons for the Spring session. The daughters said they