By Kimberly McCloy
Hey y’all! Here’s one …SAAAA -VVY! Just saying it out loud should make you SMILE (it does for me)! That word has so many different meanings for me now. My name is Kimberly McCloy, and I am the Equine Director at HOPE Landing, Inc. in El Dorado, Arkansas. I am blessed to work with horses, assist with HIPPOtherapy, and teach children with special needs how to ride them; but you know what I’ve realized? The kids have taught me so much more!
HOPE Landing is a non-profit center located on an 80-acre ranch that provides traditional OT, PT, and Speech therapies to children from birth to the age of 21. We also provide non-traditional therapies like aquatic and HIPPOtherapy. HOPE Landing has AMAZING therapists, including nine horses and one donkey that we consider equine staff and administrative staff. I have to say that HOPE Landing has SAVVY!
Working at HOPE Landing has also allowed me to meet people that I may never have had the chance to get to know, and they all mean the world to me! A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Edwin Alderson, who is on the Board of Directors for the Parelli Foundation. Mr. Alderson’s generosity is AMAZING! He has made an indelible imprint on my life by introducing me to Parelli Natural Horsemanship! Mr. Pat Parelli has an amazing way with horses of all ages and breeds, and has seen fit to show ANYONE who wants to know how he trains horses! It’s INCREDIBLE and ADDICTIVE to see him and his wife, Linda, work with horses!!!
Mr. Alderson sent me to Kentucky to a Therapeutic Horsemanship Clinic and OH MY GRACIOUS GOODNESS! I met people from all over who, like me, were seeking SAVVY! The clinic was two days of getting just a “small bite” of natural horsemanship teachings, but it has changed the way my team and I work with our horses, each other, our volunteers, and well, just people in general!
I have ALWAYS been interested in ANYTHING horse! I mean, you learn to see a horse not just as a horse, but through natural horsemanship, you find out what your horse’s HORSENALITY is! They show you how your horse can be a “partner” to you! I am looking forward to learning ALL I can so that I can be EVEN BETTER with ALL the horses that I have the privilege of working with, no matter their age or breed!
Mr. Alderson is letting us use his horse Idaho, a quarter horse that Mr. Parelli owned and trained! He is in our program and is a favorite with our kids and therapists! Idaho does anything we ask and is a phenomenal horse! He is proof that this program works, and has left me wanting not just that “tiny bite” – I want the WHOLE DINNER!!!
The Parelli Foundation is giving back by tackling so MANY needs, such as horse welfare, therapeutic horsemanship, youth, and scholarships! Theresa Fincher (former Executive Director) has proven to be a leader and a friend. She is so passionate about the Parelli Foundation and everything they are doing! Thank you, Mr. Alderson, for introducing me to a different, easier way to work with horses so that they respond better! I guess you can say that I AM SEEKING SAVVY!