Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Today is Christmas Eve, and for Tina and Teddy Bear (aka Junior) - Christmas came a little early this year. Snuggle up, and enjoy the story of how their love was born...

 My name is Denise, I’m Tina’s mom.  I would like to tell Tina and Junior’s story from my point of view because I've been there almost every minute with them watching their relationship grow.  Tina started riding horses when she was 6 years, taking lessons almost every weekend. She never got bored with it, the interest kept growing.  A couple of years ago we found out about Hope in the Valley and she started visiting.  I think her favorite thing in the world was helping with Riverfest.!  She wanted a horse of her own so bad, so I told her if that’s what she wanted, she would have to start saving her money, so she started saving birthday, report card and Christmas money.

She first saw Junior on the website, she thought he was very handsome.  One day in June 2013 we were visiting Hope and Junior walked right up to the gate, as he was walking up Tina said “That’s Junior!! He’s beautiful!”  The next time we went Ande said she could go get him out. When she walked out into the pasture he walked right up to her and started following her around.  She was falling in love with him fast!  She got to spend some time with him and ride too. I told her, “Tina, you should really consider him, he’s very sweet.” (She was looking at another horse at the time that a friend owned) The next day we went to see him again and she was really excited. When we got there Ande told me someone had just put an application on him. Tina was very sad.  So, that was the beginning of July and we left for our summer vacation.

We got back about 2 weeks later and Tina wanted to go to Hope.  She immediately went into the pasture. I held back to say “hi”to Joy. I said, “Is Junior gone?” And to my surprise she said “no”.  I ran out into the pasture, Tina was already with him way down there. I was waving my arm “COME HERE!” and she thought I was waving “hi” (we still laugh about that) when I got closer I guess she could see the look on my face and she gave him the biggest hug around his neck and said “I’m getting him!”  So she did!  After that, Junior started giving her a really hard time during riding. He was spinning in circles, being very uncooperative. I thought, Is this the same horse? Ande and Dixie worked with Junior and Tina so much, actually letting us keep him there for over a month to see if this was really gonna work out. They determined that he was really barn sour, sounded like he hadn't been rode regularly in at least 2 years.  I told Tina, “I really don't think this is going to work” and she said “Mom, I’m not giving up on him”. 

Eventually, with a lot of help from Dixie, he began to settle down.  In Sept. Dixie invited Tina to go to a fun show at Haysville. I was so nervous and Tina was too, she’d never been there before. I was amazed at how well they did!  A couple of weeks later Tina and Junior rode in the Valley Center parade with Hope and gave rides, it went great!  Shortly after that, we decided it was time for Junior to go to his new home in Goddard. I was so nervous because we were leaving the people that were helping her so much!

He’s now at an 80 acre farm with room to ride for miles!  Junior is doing great, he still tries Tina from time to time, but it’s amazing how much HE’S actually teaching her! A few weeks back she was in the process of teaching him to back up when on Sat. 11-16, she was riding bareback, slipped off and broke her wrist. So she suffered a setback, will be in her cast until Dec. 27th, and hopefully then the Dr. will give her the ok to get back out riding....and BE CAREFUL!  Tina loves Junior, she calls him her “teddy bear” .  She’s looking forward to many years of love, friendship and riding.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


We all love a happy ending, and the story of Robyn and Toby is just that.  Toby came to us as part of an owner seizure in September of 2012.  He was a few hundred pounds underweight, his feet were in horrible condition, and he had other injuries to boot.  2013 has been a much kinder year to him, and he was recently adopted by Robyn.  These two are a perfect match, and she was kind enough to send us their story. Enjoy...

Toby's story: I have loved horses all my life. From the time I was 7 months old I was on a horse and I couldn't picture my life without them. For several years I have loved and enjoyed my two mares that I have, I thought my life was complete horse wise. 7 months ago a friend of mine told me about Hope in the Valley. She had adopted her two horses from the rescue and joked that I needed a third horse. I felt I didn't need another horse but I gave the website a look because I was curious. I had been secretly telling myself for a while that my next horse was going to be male and had to be a buckskin, after the first horse I'd ever had when I was a little girl. Wouldn't you know I found one! lol I had first come across Falcon which fit my requirements exactly, but at the time another girl was trying to adopt him. I scrolled down further and found Toby. It was love at first sight. My heart knew instantly that Toby was coming home with me, but my head wasn't convinced yet. I needed to make sure I had the time for him. I called Ande and asked about him and she told me Toby had been at the rescue for about a year and no one had really ridden him so she didn't know too much about him. She did say a 13yr old girl saddled him and just sat on him, but knew nothing more of his training. I looked at his picture every night for a week and cried because I couldn't understand how someone could treat him like they did. I decided after a week of crying I would go take a look at him so I picked a weekend to drive out there. We pulled Toby out of the pasture, it was a chore because he did not want to be led, but I saddled him up and brought him to the round pen. Boy was I nervous! I got on him and instantly my nerves started to fade a little. He was very calm and a little curious. I rode him around for a little bit and when I got off he followed me everywhere! I walked around the pen with no reins or lead rope in my hands and he stuck right to my back no matter where I went. I told Ande in that moment that Toby had found his forever home. I brought him home four days later and we have done nothing but grow together. Toby is one of the sweetest and calmest horses I've owned. I have most definitely put the miles on him in the few months I've been blessed with him. We have ridden many trail rides through rivers and pastures and hills with staircases even. We had a problem with bridges at first, but now you would never know it. Toby has even gotten my younger brother back into riding. My brother grew up on a horse as well but never had a bond with a horse like I did. Toby changed that the first time my brother rode him. He makes me smile every time I'm around him. He loves my other two mares and apple treats! Between my sister and me there are 6 horses on my 40 acres of pasture and when I call them up for food the others run right for their grain and hay but Toby will come up to me first and follow me the rest of the way up. We have a bond I wouldn't trade for anything. He's recently shown signs of having reining and even western pleasure training so we will be working in arena to see how much he knows. Toby continually surprises me, I could just go on and on about him. We are always learning and always growing together. He is only 5 so I know we will have many adventures and many more stories to tell in the years to come. I'm so thankful for Hope in the Valley for rescuing this amazing animal and for giving me the opportunity to give him all the love he deserves. :)