Friday, June 13, 2014

Meet Emily, Our New Pony Camp Specialist

This week was our second week of our summer Pony Camps and we aren't kidding when we say that the cuteness up at the pony barn is just too much! All of our campers have been having a blast with the ponies and each other.  A huge part of that is thanks to our new Pony Specialist, Emily Schmidt.
So, we thought what a better way to wrap up week two then to introduce you to this awesome gal!

A Little Q&A with Emily

1.  Hi Emily! We are do excited to have you as a part of the Faulkner's Family.  Can you tell a little bit about yourself?  I grew up in a small town in central Kansas and moved to Missouri after my first two years of college to complete an apprenticeship program with Tony and Jennifer Vaught (3 star Parelli riding instructors and trainers). I have been teaching horseback riding lessons to kids and adults for the past 7 years. I have level 2 instructor certification with CCHI.  I have a passion for teaching children and volunteer in the children's program at my church. I have a BA in counseling and am currently working on a master's at Mid-America Nazarene University to have licensure at a child/family therapist.

2.  What is it that you love most about working with horses?  What I love most about working with horses is the many opportunities they give me to grow and learn. A horse can teach you things like patience, humility, perseverance and trust. They can also teach you about God. They remind me of God's humility, forgiveness and persistence in pursuing me.

3.  Do you have horses of your own?  If so, can you tell us about them?  I have two wonderful horses. Tommy is a chestnut Quarter Horse gelding. I have had him for about 16 years and he is 31 years old. He has been a great lesson horse and friend to me. His favorite thing to do is eat. Ellie is a bay Thoroughbred mare. I have had her for about three years and she has been several of my student's favorite horse. She is Secretariat's great granddaughter, but has never raced. She is a very well trained dressage and jumping horse. Her favorite thing to do is play in water or take a nap.

4.  How did you get into teaching?  I moved to Missouri after my first two years of college to do an apprenticeship at Pine Dell Farm. I worked for Tony and Jenny Vaught, who trained there, and Ed and Karen Moulis (Jenny's parents) who owned the farm. I lived in an apartment that was build into the barn/indoor arena. My duties included taking care of the horses, assisting Tony and Jenny, cleaning the apartment, assisting with clinics, babysitting Jenny's kids...and taking riding lessons! Eventually I started giving lessons under Karen. She supervised me as I taught and eventually left me to my own. After the apprenticeship was over, I stayed at Pine Dell to work. I gave lessons and took care of the horses. At that time I was working on a counseling degree at Calvary Bible College, with an emphasis on Christian Camping. As part of the degree requirements, I had to spend two summers working at Christian camps. During the second summer, I completed training and certification with CCHI, the Christian Camp Horsemanship International. I am now a level 2 western instructor. Pine Dell has been sold to different owners, so I now give lessons in Lone Jack Mo at Ransomed Heart Ranch.

5.  What are you looking forward to the most for Pony Camp 2014?  I am most looking forward to the opportunity to be a positive role model, both for my campers and for the wonderful helpers who will be assisting me with Pony Camp this year. Spending time with ponies is a plus, too :)

6.  What advice would you like to give anyone who is interested in learning how to horseback ride?  To someone interested in learning how to ride: find a good instructor. This is not just a person who has won lots of ribbons or can teach you to look good on a horse. A good instructor cares about you as an individual and about the well being of the horses. You don't need to own your own horse to learn to ride. There are many places that offer lessons to people without their own horse. Learning to ride takes time and effort. It can be a life long journey, if you want it to be. Horses are a great way to learn things such as responsibility, endurance, patience, tenacity, empathy and humility. It is also good exercise. It can be expensive if you want to own horses or show, but taking lessons at a facility that has lessons horses can be just as rewarding for a fraction of the cost.

7.  We love country music around here.  So, of course, we just have to ask...what’s your favorite country western song?
"Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks! Jesus loves you!

Did you know that you can already reserve your spot for our 2015 Summer Pony Camp Sessions? These camps book up EARLY so call today or register online to make sure that your little buckaroo has a spot!

Have a great day, y'all!

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