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2019 FEATURE

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OHIO EQUESTRIAN DIRECTORY 2019

John Rolf, to COO, Leslie Maples, who both began as volunteers. Perhaps it is because there is something unique for everyone to give and also take away. Collaboration is vital at Fieldstone. There are many partnerships including Eagle Scouts, inner-city schools, Equine Special Mental Health Learning (ESMHL) and, in particular, with The

Veteran’s Association (VA). There are over 268 annual Veteran participants. One story in particular of Vietnam Veteran, Ernest Jordon, poignantly exemplifies the healing power and connectivity of therapeutic riding and the Fieldstone Farm community. While grooming a gorgeous Haflinger, Ernest is seen smiling ear to ear,

Photo by Tammy Packer

Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center in Chagrin Falls, Ohio celebrated a grand 40th Anniversary year in 2018. Its origins are humble and date back to 1978 when Kevin Ellison began the Therapeutic Riding Center with eight weekly classes for eight students. Since then each year has been historic and evolutionary. Today with well over 1,300 yearly participants, Fieldstone Farm is one of the largest Therapeutic Riding Centers in the country and continues to develop its diverse programs of physical and emotional healing for children and adults. However, it has never wavered from its mission to “engage the therapeutic power of horses to nurture the special abilities of individuals, families and communities.” Each week more than 250 specially trained volunteers gladly come to offer service hours. Manager of Volunteer Services, Lisa Sintic, has collectively logged over 24,000 service hours per year! There are class leaders, side walkers, office helpers, horse grooms, etc. who have been drawn to serve and find themselves staying for years. Tenure abounds and this longevity permeates the entire community from Facility Manager,

Ernest Jordon

exuding joy and happiness. He was not always that way. Although a successful businessman, Ernest was distressed. He carried both physical and emotional damage and scars from his tour in Vietnam and the PTSD which tormented him. He endured chronic pain which led to extreme depression. He wanted desperately to get better and, while the morphine drug prescribed helped, it didn’t remove his pain entirely. He became alienated from his family and friends and eventually had serious suicidal thoughts. After a 30-day hospitalization, he was encouraged by a trusted mental health therapist to visit Fieldstone Farm. He did, and never looked back. During his visits, his pain subsided. He attended a fourweek session. Then another. And another. After successful ongoing participation he became a volunteer as a “side walker” and then, a “leader”, logging well over 500 service hours. Ernest then became interested in carriage driving and has logged 50+ driving hours and is considered an “able-bodied whip.” Ernest proclaims, “Fieldstone Farm saved my life! It is my safe haven.” Fieldstone Farm allows him

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Ohio Equestrian Directory 2019  

Ohio Equestrian Directory 2019  

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