Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Norwich Ohio’

Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center

Experience the power of the horse.

Board of Directors of Breaking Free celebrate their 15th anniversary.

Most children dream of riding a horse. That dream can become reality at Breaking Free near Norwich during their 15th season. Riding lessons are provided here for children of all abilities. However, they focus on riding for children and veterans with physical or mental handicaps.

Imagine the thrill for a young girl in a wheelchair as a special lift takes her to the horse’s back. Then volunteers strap her safely on and walk alongside as she gets her first horseback ride. Her face lights up with newfound joy as she experiences a degree of freedom!

Elise has fun on her pony with the help of three volunteers.

To learn more about their riding lessons, contact Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center at 740-995-9395. Their mission is to empower those with diverse challenges through equine-assistance therapeutic experience.

Linda Lake, director and founder, received inspiration for this program back in 2005 when she felt the need to help disabled children in a lasting manner. She began by using their family farm and a few of their own horses. While working in the public schools, she shared her enthusiasm for the program and created a base of volunteers and community supporters.

AA makes friends with her pony Buddy.

Three years later in 2018 it all began and they are now a Premier Accredited Center Member of the Profesional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. They offer several programs in a safe supportive environment for children with special needs and veterans.

Wayne rides Knight led by volunteer Sherry.

PATH sets standards for equine therapy and equine facilitated learning for centers that provide services for the disabled. All instructors have completed the PATH training and testing to become registered. They also have continuing education classes every year. All horses must also go through an assessment program and must meet all PATH guidelines 100%. They want to make sure that participants, volunteers, and equine are all safe.

Caroline enjoys the attention of Ms. Stella.

It takes a special horse to be a Breaking Free horse. They must be patient, friendly, reliable, and calm. Most horses used are from private donors. Horses for the Therapeutic Riding Program require different qualities than those with the veterans’ Horses for Heroes program. Horses go through a six-week training program before they are accepted for use. They seem to have a way of knowing when a person needs their attention and often on their own will place their head on the shoulder of someone needing attention.

Little Courtney rides Marshmallow with volunteers on both sides.

Participants include physically and mentally handicapped children and veterans with disabilities such as PTSD. Riding can help and the horse is not only a means of exercise but also a warm and friendly companion. Riding improves the individual’s physical, psychological, and cognitive abilities. Sometimes a child will speak for the first time after connecting with their horse while riding.

Ethan rides Ms. Bella in the arena.

Breaking Free instructors teach over 1000 riding lessons annually with up to 100 children participating. Help comes through over 55 volunteers and 16 equine partners. There are usually three volunteers with each student- two walking alongside and one leading the horse.

Abbi on Mr. River gets the attention of several volunteers.

These volunteers do everything from brushing the horses to cleaning out the stalls. They are the ones who prepare them each evening for those coming in for lessons. Most of the volunteers have had horses so understand how to care for them.

This is a non-profit organization, so it depends on gifts from interested community sponsors as well as grants. Scholarship gifts are welcome for those not able to pay for the lessons. Without volunteers and sponsors, the program would not be the success it has become in touching the lives of students.

Veteran Alisse finds comfort with Stella.

Breaking Free offers two types of activities for disabled children in a six-county area: a day camp/group outing program and our riding -for-the-handicapped program for children 4-25. They have recently added riding lessons for able-bodied, Veterans’ Horses for Heroes, day camps, and veterans’ retreats.

Duck Derby provides a fun annual fundraiser for Breaking Free.

They have an annual fundraiser, Duck Derby, Sept. 16, 2023 where they have duck races with locally donated prizes for students and adults. This is also a chance for those who have taken lessons to show their skill to their parents and friends with a small “Horse Show.”

If you are interested in volunteering, there is always a spot for you at Breaking Free during weekly sessions, their monthly work day, organizing a fundraiser, or mucking stalls. Volunteers must be 14 years of age, complete an interview, and have a full day of training at the center before beginning work.

Call 740-995-9395 to register for lessons or if you have an interest in volunteering. Breaking Free is located at 2781 N. Moose Eye Road in Norwich where you can experience the power of the horse in the lives of those who ride and volunteer.


Happiest Season of All at White Pillars Christmas House

White Pillars - Christmas House

White Pillars Christmas House carries unique decorations.

Take a break from the Christmas rush and surround yourself with the spirit of Christmas. One place to receive that feeling is at White Pillars Christmas House. Visions of beautiful decorations for your home will dance in your head.

White Pillars - Snow Babies

These well-liked Snowbabies are attractively displayed.

   Wanting a business of their own, three high school friends decided to reopen White Pillars Christmas House along Old Route 40 west of New Concord. Why did they decide to open this particular business? Because everyone likes Christmas and they could remember going to White Pillars as children.

White Pillars - Buckeye Tree

Every good OSU fan needs some Buckeye ornaments.

   Having been built in 1882, the home originally belonged to a potato farmer, who had a 300-acre farm there. Upstairs were the servants’ quarters and a separate back staircase they used can still be seen behind the railing in the Sale Room.

White Pillars - Bear Nativity

This bear nativity scene seems perfect for a cabin or lodge.

    When Jane Castor first saw this house, she told her husband, “That house would make a perfect Christmas shop.” In 1981, Don and Jane Castor, owners of Zanesville Pottery, opened the first White Pillars Christmas House at this location. For many years after that, Betty Ward had the house, but then sadly it closed for five years. Everything was sold down to the bare walls.

   Those three high school friends: Trent Cubbison along with Keith Taylor and his wife, Yolanda, had to start over from scratch. The house had stood empty during that five-year span, and many wished it was still open, as they appreciated a place that carried unique items for the holidays.

White Pillars - Marshmallows

These “Toasted” marshmallows hold clever sayings like Inside I’m a real softie.

   The trio decided they would continue that tradition and fill up the house with special Christmas items you couldn’t easily find elsewhere. Each January they close the store and head to a special market where they purchase these unique items.

White Pillars - Snowpinions

Snowpinions have a little sass and a lot of attitude. Have a little fun with your gift!

   These three hard-working owners also work in other areas as well. All graduates of John Glenn High School, Trent is now the principal of the East Muskingum Middle School. Keith serves as pastor of three small Methodist churches in Claysville, Cumberland and Hiramsburg. That gives him a special connection to Christmas.

White Pillars - Grinch Tree

This nasty creature, The Grinch, hated Christmas until a little girl changed his mind.

   Their first year in 2015, only the bottom floor was opened. They didn’t want to go in debt so increased their merchandise as quickly as funds were available. Their plan obviously worked as in 2017 they opened the second floor as well. Now all nine rooms are full of Christmas items you probably won’t find anywhere else locally.

White Pillars - Department 56

This Department 56 Village is all about Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.

   A popular item is Department 56 Villages from Dickens’ houses to those of Charlie Brown. They believe they are the only store in the state of Ohio that sells them.

White Pillars- Radko Ornaments

Radko ornaments are made of Polish hand-crafted glass.

   Christopher Radko glass holiday treasures are created in Polish artisan factories. Each piece is handcrafted from glass blowing and silvering to delicate painting. These magical heirlooms bring joy and happiness to homes worldwide.

White Pillars - Ornaments

Find the perfect ornaments for your tree from their vast selection.

   While they don’t sell Christmas trees, they do have a wide variety of ornaments, which are their biggest seller. Prices range from $2 – $80 and you’ll have to see for yourself their great variety.

White Pillars - Keith

Co-owner, Keith, stands beside a popular LED Confetti lite display.

   Keith, who has a great sense of humor, enjoys being at the Christmas House because “You can’t come in a Christmas shop in a bad mood.” He also has great fun decorating and arranging the displays.

White Pillars - Room

This room holds many magical decorations for your home.

   It’s a soothing place to shop as soft Christmas music plays in the background all the time. Everyone that stops by is happy they are open again. For the owners, it’s a great chance to meet people from all over the world and hear their Christmas tales.

White Pillars - Santa

Santa greets you at the front door as you enter and as you leave.

   Christmas will be here before you know it, so stop by White Pillars Christmas House at 7405 East Pike (Route 40) Norwich. Their hours are Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm. And they’re open eleven months of the year – January, they shop!

   You’ll be amazed at how much is perfectly displayed inside this two-story Victorian mansion.

White Pillars Christmas House is located on Old Route 40 between New Concord and Norwich on the north side of the road, naturally. Stop and receive a friendly greeting and find some treasured Christmas decorations.

Tag Cloud