Riders and horse enthusiasts from all over New England converged at Kurn Hattin Homes’ Westminster, VT. campus last weekend for the Two-As-One-Horsemanship® Clinic, presented by renowned horse trainers and riding clinicians Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard of Middletown, NY. The Two-As-One philosophy, developed by Jeffreys and Sheppard, focuses on teaching riders steps toward better communication with their horse, improved connection and partnership, and a higher degree of harmony between horse and rider, resulting in enhanced riding performance.
Event organizer, Sara Stine is the Director of Kurn Hattin’s therapeutic riding program. Stine said she was glad to be able to share Kurn Hattin’s facilities with the public, and to give others a sense of the type of programming the school offers. “This is a different kind of riding instruction. It’s about building trust and respect with the horse, and seeing things from another perspective.” “There are a lot of parallels with what we do with our children here at Kurn Hattin,” added riding program volunteer Caryl Richardson, “It’s the idea of bringing out the best in someone by treating them with kindness and respect.”
Workshop participant and lifelong rider, Patty Winter, works as a physical therapist at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, Vermont. “There are immense therapeutic benefits to working with horses, both physical and emotional,” Winter said, “There’s an amazing sense of confidence that comes from learning how to communicate with this animal that’s so much bigger and stronger than we are. What we’re learning here today is such an important part of riding.”
Clinic presenters Suzanne Sheppard and Bob Jeffreys travel extensively giving workshops and sharing their expertise on the human-horse relationship. They made the connection with Kurn Hattin Homes several years ago when Sheppard met Sara Stine at training workshop for riding instructors. Sheppard said the pair was pleased to be invited back to Westminster. “We have a common mission with Kurn Hattin in helping people (and horses) be successful and confident. I think there’s a wonderful energy here that’s the result of helping to bring out the best in children, despite their circumstances.”
Established in 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vermont is a charitable, year-round home and school for boys and girls, ages 6-15, who are affected by tragedy and social or economic hardship. Kurn Hattin Homes transforms the lives of children and their families forever. www.kurnhattin.org