Monday, September 27, 2021

Milliron Monday: Tracking Days

Pete and Jody's calendars


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

"The clock and calendar are all set with my dog in mind.
J. Smith

Mondays sure do roll around fast; sometimes days go slow, years swim by. Looking back at old calendars we realize just how quickly time passes. Some of us, like Jody, fill our daily calendar with important reminders and a list of things to do. Some of us fill a calendar, then pitch it at the end of the year. There are people, like Jody, who keep their calendars from year to year, which can be a lot of piled up calendars (whew). 

Calendars can say a lot about a person - where they go, what they do. Jody, for instance, recorded everything. Besides appointments, she noted the time/date of special area events, including events at Arts West, the Dairy Barn, and the Kennedy Museum. Pet deworming and vaccination dates were of the utmost importance. The dates of hunting season - bow, gun, and muzzleloaders - all listed in big letters. Family gatherings were penciled in, usually circled with emphasis. 

How do you track your days? Think about the impact on future generations of keeping a daily calendar. I hope you have a large pile of used calendars... um... at least a large amount of spaced filled on your digital device.

Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Taking it for Granted Podcast Interviews Author Mark M. Dean

 


Listen in!

Taking it for Granted with Mark M. Dean

Taking it for Granted the Podcast with Grant Smith 

Happiness...What is it and how do you find it? How can you find happiness through the tougher times in your life? Grant Smith talks to people from all walks of life on their happiness, and where it comes from.

Connect with Mark M. Dean


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Art Critic vs. the Cob Spider by Sandra Russell



   About the Author: Sandra Russell was born in rural Athens County, at mid-century modern time in a pre-Civil War farmhouse near Hebardsville, Ohio.  Sandra's interests include art history, studio arts, animals both wild and domestic, and baking. She can sometimes be found on the stage performing in local community theater productions, or behind the scenes creating props or designing sets. Sandy's recent DNA results have increased her interest in learning more about Scotland.  



 


Monday, September 20, 2021

Milliron Monday: Pontiac


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

Only important items graced the Milliron Clinic walls. One of Jody's favorites was Pontiac, The Pride of Cutler, O. Jody saw a photo and read an article about Pontiac in the local equine news. She loved the photo so much, she hung the print at the clinic. First, the publication printed the above photo of Pontiac as a "Mystery Horse." The editor had no clue about the beautiful horse in the photo. Then the editor asked readers to help solve the mystery. In a following edition, they ran this story...

Mystery Solved
Unusual horse identified

In last week's special "Horse Lover's" edition of the Washington County News we published an old photograph of an unusual horse, dubbed "Pontiac." It was noted that we didn't have much information to go with the photograph, and asked for reader input - which, thank you, we received. The most information came from Kathy Parker of Belpre, who even supplied us with an old Parkersburg News article about Pontiac, and Betty Hendrickson who interviewed Margaret Goddard Place of Cutler. Hester McGraw of Beverly also supplied us with a good deal of information. Here's what we learned from these helpful people:

The horse, which received quite a bit of fame as a result of its phenomenal mane and tail, was born on the Horace Greeley Underwood farm in Wesley Township (Cutler, Ohio), in 1889.

Pontiac was of predominantly Percheron stock from an imported sire. It is not known why the unusually fine and more silken hair of Pontiac's mane and tail grew to such great lengths. The mane was measured at over eleven feet and the tail, which more than reached the ground, was at least nine feet long. The owners always contended that no artificial means were used to induce growth.

Mr. Underwood was somewhat of an entrepreneur and with his amazing horse and one of the first Edison gramophones in Washington County charged the public ten cents admission at local fairs and shows.

In an article written by the Parkersburg News (exact date unknown) by reporter Helen M. White, the horse was described this way by a blacksmith who serviced the animal: "Pontiac was gentle, playful, and somewhat spoiled as he had been raised a great pet of the family, but nonetheless, he could be ridden or would work hard on the farm like any ordinary horse." Typical of Percheron's, Pontiac was a large horse, weighing 1300 pounds and standing sixteen hands high (about 5'4"). "Pont" as he was nicknamed, was eventually sold to New York owners for about $1600. For a while the horse was exhibited in New York and other large eastern cities. He was later sold a second time, but survived only a couple of years with his third owner. When he died, Pontiac was stuffed and mounted and continued to be exhibited.

According to White's article, the Underwoods "never forgave themselves for selling Pontiac feeling that if they had kept him down on the Ohio farm he would have lived to a ripe old age."


Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Radium Girls by Sandra Russell

ABC Players presents "Radium Girls"

Thursday, Oct 7th, 2021 - Saturday, Oct 9th, 2021 | 7:30 pm
Stuart’s Opera House, Nelsonville, Ohio

Radium Girls
by Sandra Russell

I am presently one of nine actors in rehearsal for Radium Girls.   The action of the play occurs over seven years, with an epilogue occurring twelve years later. Interestingly according to biologist Jonas Frisen, the cells of the human body replace themselves over a period of 7- 10 years. I see this as a possible metaphor for a broader theme often referenced in the play- "humanitarian". What does 'humanitarian' mean when applied not with a broad brush,  to a global vague 'humanity',  but with a small brush, pointed to an individual; to a portrait? Questions brought to focus by the various characters in the play cause us to consider, what is trivial? When is "better than nothing" acceptable;  and when is "enough" really enough? I am challenged by this play and honored to be working with so many talented and generous production members. I asked that any who wished to express a thought about their experience with this show, or about ABC Players theatre group, to please share a bit of themselves with you here.

From James Colgan:  "This is my first production with ABC. We just moved to Athens last May and I was delighted to find a theatre company of such quality nearby. I'm enjoying the cast and the rehearsals and the theatre is just wonderful. I like the play Radium Girls a great deal, I think it's very timely and echoes the corporate misdeeds of the past, like Johns Manville's asbestos insulation, the Ford Pinto, and of course, the opioid epidemic (which I've written a play about) just to name a few. I have five different roles, something new in my twenty-five years of being onstage (most before was two), and which presents me with the challenge of several quick costume changes backstage. Let's hope I get the hats right."

From Sam Pelham:  "Being a part of Radium Girls has been such a moving experience, not only because it is one of the first in-person shows that has occurred in the area since the beginning of the pandemic, but also because of the story we're telling. This story is based on true events and to put ourselves in the position of these women who suffered terribly even just through acting for a few hours, really provides a new perspective. It is an honor to bring a voice to these women and tell their story - a common theme throughout the play - and to be able to do so with such a talented, kind-hearted cast."

From Jeroch Carlson:  “I love working with ABC players, and it is an honor to work with Stuart’s Opera House, which has such a distinguished history here in South Eastern Ohio.  Everyone is always a joy to create with.” 

From Charlotte Crawford:  "Being in the Radium Girls cast has been such a great experience. It’s been my first play with ABC and it has been amazing. Auditions were obviously nerve wracking, especially since it was my first out of school one. But when I got the call saying I got my part, I was ecstatic. The rehearsals have been so much fun. The rest of the cast and crew is so understanding and kind. They are genuinely great people and it has been an amazing opportunity for me. I’m very grateful that I get to be a part of this play. The topic is very serious but we have so much fun with it."

From Susan Gilfert:   "I've been asked to do props for the play. The props are generally anything the actors hold in their hands. This play is a bit challenging as the props not only include things like paintbrushes, letters, reports, newspapers, and notebook pads, but also food and drink. The actors are in each other's 'homes,' and of course there will be coffee, tea and edibles consumed. I will need to have edibles backstage, and wash dishes as part of my clean-up after every rehearsal and performance."

From Joe Balding:  "Radium Girls has been a great experience so far. I hope we get large audiences." 

From the director, Celeste Parsons "Rehearsing a play is a balancing act for both director and actors.  The director needs to balance the use of the stage,  making sure that each actor can be seen when the attention of the audience should be on him or her, and that actors move around the stage in a way that is appropriate for the words they are speaking without getting in each other's way.  Actors need to maintain an emotional balance for their characters so that the play doesn't reach its high point too soon.  In an ensemble cast such as that for Radium Girls, actors also have to balance several different characters, sometimes literally exiting as one character and a few seconds later entering as another.  Having all of these balancing acts come together during rehearsals and create the finished performance makes the 'theater magic' that we all love."

   About the Author: Sandra Russell was born in rural Athens County, at mid-century modern time in a pre-Civil War farmhouse near Hebardsville, Ohio.  Sandra's interests include art history, studio arts, animals both wild and domestic, and baking. She can sometimes be found on the stage performing in local community theater productions, or behind the scenes creating props or designing sets. Sandy's recent DNA results have increased her interest in learning more about Scotland.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Burr Oak by Sandra Russell

Original art by (c) Sandra Russell

Burr Oak
by Sandra Russell

It’s Autumn here in Athens County Ohio. At the first chill breeze, many of us become nostalgic, sentimental, and optimistic for change. Even the very young (who may not remember ‘the first day of school’) remember “take your sweater” and the line of buses like a row of marigolds holding onto summer. Maybe the scent of cookies will change the house? We will have soup instead of salad, hot chocolate instead of ice cream pops. We gather closer for warmth in all its meaning; it’s a social time of year that anticipates holiday celebrations to come.

But fall is all about the trees. We look for their colors and wonder at the blankets of purple on the high hills, the dark pines making lines, and at the beauty of a single flaming red one standing alone on a lawn, not mowed any longer. Oh! And fruit trees are dropping pears, and apples. Visits to the orchards and cider houses may be a trip on the weekend?  The edible nuts will soon fall as well, hickory, black walnut, and the bushes on the stream might hold hazelnuts? Deer, opossum, raccoons and other wildlife enjoy the acorns from the many oaks in our area. Some of these old giants not noticed in summer; but now strong black limbs against golden fans of leaves, remind us these are the trees of our ancestors. One particular to our area as a namesake for a lake a road and a park is the Burr Oak. Some call it the Mossy Cup Oak due to its shaggy top that engulfs the top half of the acorn. These ironically are said to not grow in S.E. Ohio, but some defy that statement and have endured many winters and summers in urban settings. In fact I visited a pair of them in town just the other day. The nuts will not drop quite yet, but are huge, green, more the size of elongated golf balls rather than the round brown ones commonly known from the many White Oaks surrounding us. We can’t forget another celebrity in town the  Buckeye. The glossy inner seed (thought to look like the eye of a deer)…makes a nice material for crafting table decorations or door wreaths, but is poisonous to eat. I was told that the name of  a nearby town “Moxahala”, is a native American word that means ‘Elks Eye’, and I wonder if they also meant “Buckeye” as well?  I include a watercolor sketch done of a Buckeye leaf and immature acorns.  I hope to record a few more trees and some particulars about their uses and beauty such as the Sassafras; whose brewed root bark, makes a wonderful tea…tastes a bit like hot root beer…now I’m feeling like a cup of that in front of a fireplace. 

 About the Author: Sandra Russell was born in rural Athens County, at mid-century modern time in a pre-Civil War farmhouse near Hebardsville, Ohio.  Sandra's interests include art history, studio arts, animals both wild and domestic, and baking. She can sometimes be found on the stage performing in local community theater productions, or behind the scenes creating props or designing sets. Sandy's recent DNA results have increased her interest in learning more about Scotland.  

Monday, September 13, 2021

Milliron Monday: Bugs


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

Among Jody's treasures is a bug collection. She created the collection for a Girl Scout project. Jody, always an outdoors girl, collected, identified and neatly placed dozens of specimens in a special coffee table, the kind of table that has a shadow box with a latch. The table has traveled from Ohio to Colorado and back to Ohio. Still in good shape, the table remains a family conversation piece.




Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Welcome to My World..... by Genna Todd

 

Welcome to my world......
by Genna Todd
 
Welcome to my world... of pain and change some pain I brought to myself and some I think I had a little help. Change didn't always sit right with me because my mind didn't look at change accurately. I looked at it as a setup for pain yet to come.
 
Welcome to my world... with blurred lines I am sorry I know once you enter you will think what a distorted mind to take most positive things and angle it to a negative state.
 
Welcome to my world... stay for a moment and you will see that even through my personal hurt and bouts with depression I have learned a lot of life lessons. I am the type of person to give what I can't say I need.
 
Welcome to my world.... come and explore with me.
 
Available in Paperback and eBook HERE!
 

 
Instagram: @genna.todd
Tic tok : @gennaalexandriatodd
YouTube: Poetry of Life
Twitter: @genna_todd
 
About the Author
My name is Genna Todd and my author page won’t read like the typical author page. I am a 33 year old mother and factory worker, writing seriously never crossed my mind until the world stopped. I have had a battle with mental health all of my life maybe not as severe as the next person but the lockdown pushed me to the brink of a total breakdown. So I used a pen and a piece of paper to deflate the air building within my mind. I decided to take a leap of faith and post my work and I got an inspiring response that has got me to this point. I would like to formally Welcome you to my world... of poetry I hope you get to see what I am about and that with love, support, faith in God and in yourself you can go far.


Wait Until I Grow Up: An Interview with Celeste Parsons

Wait Until I Grow Up: An Interview with Celeste Parsons
with Gina McKnight

Ohio author Celeste Parsons lives in a log house built on a former dairy farm with her husband Jim, her Westie dog, Spook, and a revolving population of deer, turkeys, chipmunks, hummingbirds, and other wildlife. She has written poems, plays, technical documentation, and newspaper articles since childhood, and is the editor of Nelsonville from A to Z. Her first children's book, Wait Until I Grow Up, was launched earlier this year.

Welcome, Celeste!

GM: What is the premise for your new children's book?
CP:  Children, as they grow, naturally want to be able to do more and more "grown up" things, and their point of view keeps them from seeing why adults make the restrictions they do.  But they can also appreciate the pleasures of being a child.

GM: The main character, Mandy, is endearing. Is her name and characteristics from someone in your life, or is she a fictional character?
CP:  I have no idea why I decided my main character was named Mandy--I didn't even know anyone named Amanda until a few years ago.  And she is not based on any single person in my life.  I just like feisty, smart kids, and I tried to imagine what a childlike that would do if she was really frustrated about not being allowed to do things she believed she was capable of doing.

GM: What would you like children to learn from your story?
CP:  I would like children to feel a kinship with Mandy, and I would like them to ask themselves why her parents think what they think.

GM: Take us on a journey through your typical day...
CP:  I usually get up between 7:30 and 8:00 (later during the winter and earlier during the summer--I think it depends on the amount of sunlight coming into my bedroom). Breakfast is tea and cereal with some kind of fruit--this summer it has been home-grown berries. While we have breakfast, my husband and I work a cryptic crossword puzzle to stretch out our brains. We will take a ride on our tandem bicycle for two or three hours and spend some time in the garden. I check email and do "office work," which might be writing or revising a manuscript, drawing, finances (church treasurer), or going over something about a community theater play.  During the past year, we began working jigsaw puzzles, so now there is usually a puzzle in construction on the dining room table. It's hard to pass that without trying to put in at least a few pieces! Right now I am directing a play, so I have to have supper ready by 5:30 so that I can be at Stuart’s Opera House in plenty of time for rehearsal at 6:30. I'm home by about 8:45 and try to calm down from the theater high by having some dessert and watching an episode of a TV series. I'll climb into bed about 10 and read for a while before shutting down. It's a pretty busy schedule--I've tried hard to pull back from some activities, but I enjoy doing too many different things to be able to have much success at doing less!
 
GM: As a poet and writer, how do you maintain thoughts and ideas?
CP:   If a phrase or a story idea comes into my head, I write it down as soon as I can find pencil and paper. Although I love word processing capabilities, I prefer to do first drafts by hand, with pencil. I also think things over while I'm doing work that doesn't take much mental attention--like weeding, or housecleaning, or sometimes while I'm bike riding. I can walk around with the vacuum cleaner, stopping every couple of minutes to scribble an additional few lines of a poem or story, or repeat something over and over in my head to keep it from drifting away while I'm gardening or biking. I have a whole story in my head about a woman and her grandson picking berries (composed, of course, while I was picking berries), and I'll write that down as soon as I get a minute. . .

GM: What are you currently reading?
CP:  The Lamplighters, by Emma Stonex. It's a novel based on a real mystery involving three lighthouse keepers who vanished from an offshore lighthouse tower leaving no trace.

GM: Who are your favorite children's lit authors?
CP:  Maurice Sendak.  A. A. Milne (the Winnie the Pooh stories and two volumes of poems). Susan Cooper (The Dark is Rising series).  T. H. White (The Sword in the Stone and Mistress Masham's Repose).  All of these writers can tell wonderful stories set in worlds that are almost ours but not quite, and make the reader feel perfectly at home there.
 
GM: Do you have advice for novice writers and those looking to publish their first book?
CP:  Love language, listen to it carefully, Whew!!  and relish using it in unusual ways. Enjoy the act of writing, and polishing, and polishing. And remember that it's never too late to try something new.

GM: In your travels, where on earth is your favorite place to be?
CP:  I've traveled a lot, seen some wonderful places, and had some amazing experiences, but my favorite place to be--to stay for long periods of time--is still my own home. We built our log home ourselves, on land that gives us plenty of privacy and space but is still close enough to town to see those we are close to. And I never get tired of looking out the windows.





Monday, September 6, 2021

Milliron Monday: Shawnee

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

This week we welcome Milliron Clinic client, Peggy Jo Clark. Peggy Jo share’s her story…

Opal was a one-eyed mare. She lost one eye due to a hay bale wire. Someone cut the wire, but didn't take it off the bale of hay and the wire poked Opal right in the eye. Over time, the eye turned cancerous. We took her to Dr. Smith. He removed Opal's eyeball and sewed her up. 

After Opal healed from her surgery, we bred her to a buckskin Tennessee Walking horse named Hobo. On St. Patrick’s Day in 1991, I went to the barn before I went to work to check on Opal. There I found a beautiful foal. I called him a Palominto because he was Palomino and white Pinto. He was a huge baby. Opal was cleaning him when I came into the barn. She was a wonderful mother. As I approached her stall, the foal jumped up. He didn’t stagger, he jumped right to his feet, strong and spry as could be, and started nursing.

When I got home from work that day, I imprinted the foal all over. I named him Shawnee (Shawn, because he was born on St. Patrick's Day and I have always admired the Shawnee Indians). I raised him, broke him to ride and drive. He turned out to be a wonderful, gaited horse.

Unfortunately, Opal’s cancer returned and moved down to her nasal cavity, into the bone, leaving a large open sore that wouldn't heal. Dr. Smith put her down. Opal had a good life and we loved her dearly.

Shawnee and I went on great adventures. In 2004 I gave Shawnee to my dear friend Fern in Bainbridge. Shawnee is over 30 years old. Fern still has Shawnee. He is retired, but Fern's grandchildren love to ride him around the pasture. Shawnee has been loved and adored by several generations. Opal would have been proud. 


Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Miami International Riding Club: An Interview with Celia Bunge


Miami International Riding Club: An Interview with Celia Bunge
by Gina McKnight
Archived from the August 2021 Issue of (c) Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission.

“I became more successful just because I never gave up,
 and I put in all the work that was needed and more.” Celia Bunge

At the tip of Florida is a beautiful place to learn about horses. In the heart of Miami resides Celia Bunge, the co-proprietor of the Miami International Riding Club (MIRC). Celia is a life-long equestrian, bringing wisdom and inspiration to new and seasoned riders from around the world. MIRC offers English riding instruction, specializing in hunters and jumpers, but also offers equitation and dressage. Celia welcomes riders from all over the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Congo, Columbia, China, France, Mexico. Celia and her daughter, Daniela, are certified English riding instructors with a lot of enthusiasm for horses! 

Welcome, Celia!

GM: Celia, it’s so great to meet you and talk about horses! When was your first encounter with a horse?
CB:  My first encounter with a horse came at a very young age. I was a toddler when I started riding my grandfather’s top quality Quarter Horses at his vacation estate in Cuernavaca, Morelos in Mexico.  My grandfather did not ride, he just enjoyed having beautiful show horses, and having his riders work and show them.  I will not however claim to be a natural at riding, not even  a talented rider.  I became a really good rider, and even a better all-around horse person through hard work, hours and hours of training, and through my love of horses. As a rider there was always someone better than  me, but in the end, I became more successful just because I never gave up, and I put in all the work that was needed and more.

GM: A great story of courage and talent, you inspire many people to live their dream of being with horses. In 2019 you received the (AYHC) American Youth Horse Council's Youth Equine Industry Innovation Award! That is a great accomplishment. Congratulations! The award was for "unique and creative ways of introducing young people, particularly pre-teens and teenagers, to the different aspects of the horse world." What are some of the unique and creative ways you introduce people to horses?
CB: Our barn, Miami International Riding Club (MIRC) has found its niche precisely in the youth component of our programs. We focus on teaching young people different and creative ways to get involved in the horse world. We always try to find each kids talents and match them with the right program or activity. Some MIRC riders enjoy taking care of injured horses, others love working with people, others have amazing teaching and mentoring skills, others have a true calling to help people with disabilities find the joys that horses bring, others are talented riders that love working with green horses or teaching ex-racehorses a new career, and finally others are top-level competitors that thrive at horse shows.

GM: Take us around your award-winning facility. What will we find?
CB: Well, there is always a lot going on at MIRC! From our large and extremely busy lesson program to boarding, leasing, sales and training. We also offer a program for riders with disabilities, host clinics, and offer outreach programs.  We have a fun summer camp, and host events for Girl Scouts to earn their horsemanship and riding badges. We are the largest barn in the Miami area and we have an impressive show team. Our facility has become a dream come true! We have two massive outdoor arenas with specialized fiber footing and stadium lights, round pens, a field for riding on grass, A/C tack rooms and restrooms, covered wash racks, ample turn out paddocks, security cameras, and beautiful, lush trees. On average we have 55 horses on site .

GM: Your facility stables many beautiful horses and talented riders. What are your methods for selecting horses for your students?  
CB: I truly believe we are great matchmakers. At MIRC we have very clear guidelines with respect to how we handle our board and training program, which has made us a very successful boarding show barn.  All our clients work very closely with us in every aspect of their equestrian endeavor. This includes the selection, welfare, management, training, competition goals, veterinary care, and feed program of their horses. We always get to know our clients and our horses extremely well, that way we can offer the best advise when pairing people and horses.

GM: Describe a day in your life...
CB: I am a very routine driven person. I am dedicated, passionate, and very disciplined.  My days start early, around 7 am. I answer messages, emails, and texts, print things, and organize stuff that needs to be taken to the barn.  Every morning, I also take my dogs and my cat out, give them their supplements, and feed them before leaving my house. My dogs and cat, despite having a doggie door which they use all day and night, will not go out to the bathroom in the mornings unless I take them out. It is a fun fact, but makes for a morning routine that I really enjoy.

Mornings  at the barn mean errands, barn management,  and supervising riders and instructors. I also always ride my mare “Mina”, and frequently help with other horses that may benefit from my patient, delicate, and precise riding. I often help with young horses that need to learn through good riding, and proper horsemanship.  After a quick  break for lunch, busy afternoons usually include teaching lessons, and talking to clients. I am always around to make sure everyone at MIRC feels included and welcome. I usually don’t leave until all lessons are done, and horses have been taken care off.  Usually around 9 pm.  

GM: That’s a full day (I love hearing about your dogs and cat!). Tell us about your own awards and accolades and the secret to your success.
CB: Our hard work and dedication has been rewarded with several amazing awards.  We have a passion for re training ex race horses, and we have worked extensively with off-the-track-thoroughbreds (OTTB’s). I have been the spokesperson for our re-training program and have been guest speaker at Gulf Stream Park. We are the proud recipients of the National Award for Equine Welfare Work by The Right Horse Initiative. We are also the proud recipients of the American Youth Horse Council Award for our work and dedication to connecting kids and teens and horses.

In 2019 I was awarded the CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) Instructor of the Year Award. I am extremely proud of this recognition!! As I truly love to teach! 

I would also like to mention that my daughter , and business partner, Daniela Bunge, was the 2016 International Junior Coach of the year by the International Society of Rider Biomechanics.

GM: Congratulations on all of your success. Hard work does pay off! Do you have a favorite horse anecdote to share?
CB: I always share with my students when they are feeling down or defeated, especially after a fall, that I probably hold the record of most falls during one single session and while attempting the same exercise.  I fell six times while practicing some bounces. I did however end up on a good note, and well although this happened many years ago, I am still riding at almost 57 years.

GM: Throughout your lifetime there may have been that once-in-a-lifetime favorite horse. What are the qualities of your favorite horse?   
CB:  If you ask anyone that knows me, they will all undoubtedly say that I love warmbloods, but most of all I love warmblood chestnut mares!!  I will always prefer for myself a mature and well trained horse, 12 years or older. I like strong, talented and spunky girls.  My current riding partner, my gorgeous mare “Mina” is a fabulous 17’3 Canadian warmblood with excellent Dutch warmblood bloodlines.  She is an amazing jumper, but she also excels at dressage and equitation.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined myself with such a huge horse, but Mina has stolen my heart.

Despite my love for warmblood mares, I do have to mention my other great love. Napoleon.  Napoleon  - who passed away last year - was a gray warmblood stallion.  Napoleon came to our lives as a horse for my daughter who was rapidly moving up in the show jumping world.  Napoleon was an extremely talented horse but he was not blessed with a great conformation, and he also had to battle since young age, malignant melanomas.  So he gave my daughter a couple of great seasons at the top levels, and then he became my horse.  Napoleon gave me the wings to enter and win classes in the jumper ring that I never thought I could do. Napoleon died at the still young age of 21. He had the best work ethic ever!  Until his last days, we had to find ways to trick him and convince him that he was still working.  He was retired, but we had to make him believe he wasn’t.  Not working made him depressed and sad.

GM: What advice do you have for novice riders and those seeking to purchase their first horse?
CB:  I always tell young riders, and new riders of any age, that they need to understand that riding is a lifelong sport.  Riding requires patience, endurance, perseverance, discipline, commitment, and passion. You need to understand that you will always be learning new things, and that you will always need to improve. Aspiring riders and new horse owners need to understand that in this sport you  need to love the horse first and the sport second.

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
CB: Although we are aware of the time constraints of many riders, at MIRC we feel that horsemanship is an essential component to riding. People need to know how to do things. People need to know their horses. Too many people are just riders and do not understand anything about basic care, horse handling, horse health, horse behavior, horse handling, and management. Becoming a competent horse person and rider is a time-consuming affair. It is like many wisely say, a way of life.

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