Samantha’s Story

I will never forget the first day I brought my five year old daughter to Frog Hollow Farm. We had adopted her from China three years prior, and because of some serious medical issues and the effects of institutionalization, she was struggling with PTSD and severe separation anxiety. We had been working with several different therapists, and I had called Nancy to explain her issues ahead of time—not knowing how she would react to riding.

The moment she got on that pony (lovely old Ludwig, the sweetest pony around), I do not exaggerate when I say that both my husband and myself broke into tears. It was like our girl was meant to ride. Something about being on a horse turned her into the best version of herself. She suddenly had the kind of joy and confidence we had only been hoping for up until that moment. It felt like something clicked, something healed—and we never looked back.

She’s been a rider ever since (almost three years now) and I can personally attest to the way the confidence she has gained while learning to ride has directly reflected onto her everyday life. My daughter might struggle in other ways, but she feels mastery while she’s on a horse, and that is priceless.

I can’t express how much Frog Hollow has done for our family. Nancy has been so generous in so many ways – not only teaching our daughter with great warmth and deep knowledge – but patiently working with our teenage nephew in an apprentice position as well—giving him chances long after a less tolerant and determined person might have thrown in the towel.

Nancy gives so much of herself and her beautiful farm. It is not hyperbole to say that she routinely changes lives for the better. And she hires great teachers. Camelia Montalvo has been an incredible joy to work with. Our daughter adores this young woman, and wants nothing so much as to do well in her eyes. She has been teacher, friend and role model for her – and we feel extremely lucky to have such a talented young woman teaching our daughter.

Simply put, Frog Hollow Farm is a magical place. You see it in its aesthetic beauty, in the care and love that are lavished on the creatures who live there (and not just the horses – though the horses are kept beautifully—the dogs, the barn cats, even the chickens—are all treated with incredible tenderness and knowledge) and in the faces of the young girls and boys who work on and ride at the farm.

Nancy has made a paradise of sort—a place where people not only can learn and have fun – but also a place where a little girl like my daughter can heal. I can’t express how important Nancy, her assistant instructors and Frog Hollow have been to us. We feel incredibly thankful to have you in our lives.