The start of a new year generally brings with it a reflection upon the year gone by. Naturally, for an equestrian therapy program, our thoughts turn to ‘the ride’ that the year has been. Given the challenges that the agency has faced, it might be logical to assume that the Adventures Program was riding the proverbial bucking bronc. Our perception of 2016, however, was more like riding a steadfast mare on an unknown trail.
I believe that it’s the foundation of what we are, a therapeutic animal and horticulture program, that kept our envisioned horse and rider on that imaginary trail. We teach mindfulness, the art of living in the moment to avoid fretting over the past or worrying about the future. As an experiential program, it’s easier to focus on the task at hand; the sheep are out again, the stalls need to be cleaned, the greenhouse tended, the children shown love and taught important life skills. We role model open communication and are working hard to share our stories on social media. Over 4,000 people viewed our Facebook post sharing our grief over the loss of our beloved 42 year old quarter horse cross, Memphis, somehow making his passing more bearable. We practice emotional intelligence, processing with each other the innumerable losses surrounding the closing of the Residential Treatment Facility.
Perhaps most importantly, however, we believe in social responsibility and that we aren’t on this uncertain journey alone. Our ability to form partnerships and trust those around us is at the core of what we are as a program and what we offer to our community. On the twisting, poorly marked, often bushwhacked trail that was 2016, we did what we do; we tuned in just as much to the horse carrying us as we did to the slippery footing. Each of you reading this has been that partner, and we have so appreciated your support! We hope you’ll keep riding with us in 2017; knowing that we are on the journey together, we’ll both worry less about what’s around the corner and smile at the challenges.
Thanks for your support!
Your Adventures Team
Glade Run Adventures provides personalized experiences in nature, including horseback riding lessons, guided trail rides, animal care classes, gardening classes, farm to table cooking experiences and nature themed arts and crafts. These activities are prefect for families, school groups, home schoolers, girl and boy scout troops, youth groups and parties.
Glade Run Adventures is conveniently located north of Pittsburgh in Zelienople, just minutes from route 79 and Cranberry Township.
About the Author
Julie Wahlenmayer, Director of Adventures
Julie has been with Glade Run since 1996, shortly after graduating from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies. Her experiences in animal and horticultural assisted therapies at Glade Run lead Julie to complete her Master’s Degree in Counseling at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Julie’s desire to connect individuals with the natural world around them, combined with her equestrian training and love of gardening, helped to shape our Adventures Program into the exemplary program that it is today. Julie’s vision for Glade Run Adventures is for it to become a model for social, emotional and physical growth and learning.