It seems like a moment ago my daughter was seven and horse crazy. Frog Hollow was close by but I somehow thought too serious a riding school. After a year I gave in to common sense and made the short drive to inquire about lessons at Frog Hollow.
It turned out many things were serious at Frog Hollow—a concern for safety, a concern for the welfare of the horses, a concern that learning horsemanship was part and parcel of learning to ride.
But what I quickly realized watching my daughter learn to ride on Ludwig was there was also a prevailing belief that horses and riding were fun and a path to self-growth. I have watched my daughter learn many things at Frog Hollow—discipline, attention to detail, self-determination and goal-setting among them.
Her riding lessons are skilled and direct and are teaching her the fundamental ways of communication between horse and rider. The teaching has progressed at a pace that suits my cerebral child. She moves forward in skills when she is prepared, not on a set progression timeline.
Her joy in riding is occasionally shown off in public at horse shows that she chooses to participate in. The ribbons on the wall are a nice reminder of the more important work and lessons she receives at the barn on a regular basis. We are thankful to Frog Hollow Farm, Nancy Rosen and her wonderful equine and human teachers for the most wonderful place to become a rider of skill and caring.
My daughter started riding at Frog Hollow Farm three years ago when she was nine years old. She was abused by her great grandfather at age seven and internalized all of it. She trusted no one. Talking with people didn't help, and she was stuck in a place that I didn't think she would get out of.
Then I found Frog Hollow. I wasn't sure if it was the answer to helping her but for the first time in a long time I saw a light in her eyes as she told me how much she loved to ride. At first she was unsure and uptight, but as Nancy and Camella worked with her she started to relax and actually start to trust again. As she grew in trust, she grew in riding.
I'm so thankful to Frog Hollow for taking my daughter out of a dark lonely place and being part of healing her on the inside, through riding. Now today she is more confident than ever, in herself and as a rider.
It was the best therapy she could have had. Instead of sitting in an office talking to a stranger week after week, she rode at Frog Hollow, gaining trust and friendship through her instructors.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a huge part in healing my daughter. She wouldn't be where she is today without you. You may not always make money by giving lessons, but for some you change their lives.
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.