The Stirrup Fun Stables in Lebanon, CT
Stirrup Fun Stables is a horse rescue facility in Lebanon, CT that also offers a place for the community to enjoy the therapeutic effects of horse training and riding. The facility was established by Lebanon resident Jeanna Prink with the mission to rehabilitate horses in a self sustaining environment. Stirrup Fun Stables teaches valuable disciplines and offers lessons, trail rides and other varied activities throughout the many acres of farmland and trails.
Jeanna began Stirrup Fun Stables in 2008, as an environment for people to help in the rehabilitation and care of rescue horses. After the horses are brought back to health, volunteers are able to participate in actual trail rides and lessons. This whole process comes together as both a unique teaching and therapeutic device. “We prominently offer a ‘Work & Ride’ program, which really helps in the lives of the people who attend,” says Jeanna.
“With the kids at the farm there’s huge, huge changes, whether they realize it or not. It’s very therapeutic for them. The responsibility and the hard work, the discipline that they learn, the care that they need to give to the animals flows over into their life. They end up being more caring to other people and more accepting of people’s differences. The hard work and responsibility carries over at home, where they’re better at school, better with their homework, their grades are better, their behaviors better – everything turns around. Their willing to do more, and willing to volunteer with other things in their community, not just at the farm.”
Stirrup Fun Stables features a summer camp, but is active year-round, with an organized after school program. Any money generated by riding lessons goes into vet care, food, and general upkeep.
In the winter of 2015, heavy snow caused the roof of the main barn to collapse, and insurance would not cover the hefty repair costs. The damage greatly hindered the ability of Stirrup Fun Stables to operate. They had to throw out all of their hay, because there wasn’t a dry space for keeping it in. A GoFundMe was set up, which raised a little over $10,000 out of the $150,000 it would cost to rebuild the roof. In the summer of 2016, Klaus Larsen stepped in to help Stirrup Fun Stables rebuild.
Today, Stirrup Fun Stables is busier than ever. Visit them and you’ll see the daily chores of mucking all the paddocks, stables and stalls, filling the water tanks and put out hay. You’ll also see the determination on the faces volunteers learning real world experience by being responsibility for the care of an animal. The smiles thereafter are the kind gained by a day of hard work.
Learn more about Stirrup Fun Stables and their great cause, on their website.