Dorka, 12, of Chardon, a more experienced rider, demonstrates
her confidence with a pretty smile.
Jess Nicholl, 11, of Willoughby manages a little smile.
At age 2 ½ Maria DiCello of Kirtland was one of the
most fearless riders.
Olivia Campbell of Huntsburg wants to get this thing
Searra Hough joins her older sister Savannah for an
obviously wonderful time.
Savannah Hough is all confidence.
Allie Sipos of Mayfield studies the situation carefully.
Brian Depner, 6, of Munson takes several loops around
the parking lot.
of Hamden is all smiles as she learns how to hold the
of Newbury explained that he is a student at Notre Dame
helps her brother Noah enjoy the ride at TSC Shopping
An unidentified man
with his young daughter admires WIW Perfect Alen, aka
Big Al, a flashy pinto Tennessee Walking Horse colt.
TAKING HORSES TO THE PEOPLE
OF CHARDON, OHIO
By Diane Jones
Windt im Wald Farm
Auburn Township, Ohio 44023
On Saturday, September 25, 2004, my husband
Tom and I trailered two very clean horses from Windt im Wald
Farm in Auburn Township to the Tractor Supply shopping plaza
in downtown Chardon. Tractor Supply Company’s Frank Seiden and
Kelly Rischar had invited us to give free “pony” rides and a
possible horse demonstration. In our trailer were Supreme Tsamaz,
our bay ¾ Arabian mare, and WIW Perfect Alen, a 4-½ month-old
stunning black and white pinto Tennessee Walking Horse colt.
Arriving at the shopping center at 10:45 AM, we were delighted
to find a 12’ x 12’ round pen in the middle of the parking lot.
There were people already engaged in some lawn mower races,
lots of car and motorcycle traffic, and even a few backfires.
In short, there was plenty of activity to upset a horse that
has never been trailered from its quiet pasture.
distractions did not bother us, however, because we value the
opportunities to make our horses spook-proof and rider-safe
under any circumstances. We unloaded the two horses quietly
and put WIW Perfect Alen, aka Big Al, in the square pen with
some sawdust and hay and immediately swung up on Tsammie, who
is used to all kinds of distractions, including loud motorcycles
that have come within a foot of her without upsetting her. Tom
and I took turns riding her through the parking lot, amidst
the lawn equipment, the parked cars, the motorcycles, and the
activity. She was as perfectly unruffled as we had expected
when we accepted the offer to come. Onlookers, customers, and
occupants of cars immediately spotted us. Cameras suddenly appeared
from car windows as the occupants gawked, their expressions
asking,” Hey, what are these horses doing HERE?”
not very long before hordes of curious parents and children
began gathering in front of our square pen. If Tsammie had not
wooed them, then the dazzling Big Al, ever the Public Relations
representative for visitors to Windt im Wald Farm, certainly
had. As they petted him, he munched unconcernedly at Tsammie’s
hay. Finally, in the pen once more, Tsammie could tolerate Big
Al’s audacity no longer and quickly put her ears back at him.
Big Al got her message and withdrew to his own pile of hay while
several children wondered aloud if they might be allowed to
Once they learned that Big Al would not be
QUITE big enough to give rides for about another year and one-half,
they quickly decided that Tsammie, who was wearing a saddle,
would be a very acceptable alternative. Although at least one
little one changed her mind about the opportunity to ride Tsammie,
the others were all smiles and anticipation as they were either
lifted into the saddle or managed to climb aboard with little
or no help. They ranged in age from a bold 2-½ year old with
a beautiful grin to an obviously delighted college student,
who confessed how much she had always wanted to ride a horse.
A few siblings argued about which one should go first, so we
let them ride together, and they were perfectly pleased with
each other’s close proximity; the ride was simply too much fun
to argue about!
So many people offered to pay for the
rides and were astounded to learn that they were free—almost.
The condition for getting the ride was that we be allowed to
take the child’s picture on Tsammie and to have the child’s
name published at our website. Not one parent objected to the
“price” and in fact all seemed pleased to know that they would
be on the Internet. Our Tsammie had little time to eat the hay
that she had forbidden Big Al. She gave ride after ride from
11:00AM - 2:30 PM without even a bridle or bit in her mouth
because that is the way we have trained her. She wore only a
special noseband called a bosal with two reins clipped to it.
She responded beautifully to her young riders’ polite directions
to turn left and right, whoa, and go.
Most of the parents
we encountered were young Chardon residents who were thrilled
to be able to provide their children a close-up experience with
a real-live horse. They were equally pleased to know that we
breed, raise, and train our own horses and never sell a horse
into an unwholesome situation. They seemed excited to learn
that we offer summer camps for young children aged 6-16 and
pony parties to families within a 50-mile radius from our farm.
Most importantly, they were perfectly enchanted with Tsammie,
little bigger than a Welsh pony at 14.2 hands. If they had marveled
over Big Al’s stunning beauty, they were won over by Tsammie’s
big soft, liquid eye, her quiet
demeanor and respect
for her young riders, and her lustrous coat. Nevertheless, when
we mentioned that she was an Arabian, we could see their eyebrows
raise in astonishment. Even in the heart of Chardon, people
perceive that an Arabian horse is fiery and user-unfriendly.
Giving out free coloring pictures of horses for the kids, we
were pleased to demonstrate that Tsammie, like many of today’s
Arabian horses, is used for everything from contesting to summer
camp to pony parties to trail rides. She even helps us break
in the very young horses that we take on trail rides to give
them confidence in crossing water and not panicking at new,
unusual sights, like wild deer or loose dogs. Tsammie does everything
we and anyone else have ever asked of her. She is always a perfect
ambassadress for her breed and for Windt im Wald Farm.
This is not the first time we have taken horses to people
who might not otherwise get to visit with them up-close. We
had a wonderful time, as we always do. When TSC’s Frank told
us we have a standing invitation to bring horses to the people
who come to the shopping mall, we were undoubtedly honored.
There is no doubt that we will bring Tsammie and at least one
of her pinto or Arabian stallmates from Windt im Wald Farm again
to the appreciative folks of Chardon, Ohio.
your overwhelming support, and look for us in the near future!
Alexandra Zver of
Chardon is very intent.
College student, Anna
Bileci of Hamden, needs no words to express her delight.
Michael Depner, 11,
of Munson sits well in the saddle.
Isaiah Cad of Munson
gets a long ride.
Heather Sethman of
Chardon enjoys her ride aboard Tsammie.