From The Heart of A Prospect Riding Center volunteer

My admiration for the Myakka City community (34251) is worth sharing.

I live on the west side of CR675 in zip 34211 but cross that street or take a left hand turn at SR70 and I am in the Myakka City neighborhood..
Last year I began volunteering at Prospect Riding Center on SR70 in Myakka City. We were anxious to have our name recognized and our mission statement and services available. We opened the gates and invited the community to our first open house. The neighbors , Myakka City Foundation, the community churches and our local public service staff were there to support us.
Every opportunity that we have to open the gates at the ranch and share knowledge with our neighbors is exciting for all of us. Prospect Riding Center has offered to the community a Hurricane Preparedness Class, First Aid and CPR Certifications, Ducks Unlimited children’s introduction, a Health Fair and most importantly we offer our Therapeutic Riding to all that benefit from this equine service.
The Prospect Center Team recently participated in the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. I personally enjoyed meeting the members of the church hosting the dinner as we prepared to serve and enjoyed the day of giving. A special thanks to Dan Cacchiotti for organizing this dinner and inviting us to volunteer at this wonderful community event.
Our holiday season has begun with another outstanding community event. The Prospect Riding Center Team was so excited to be part of the Myakka City Annual Christmas Parade. We brought out newest equine team members, Silk and Sable Drill Team, and several of our PRC team members. We saw the community at its finest, enjoying this wonderful event in the heart of the community.
Happy holidays!!
G. P.
Propsect Riding Center
We always strive to make a difference not just for a day but for a life time.
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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


Share Our joy

Share Our Joy

The past few weeks have been busy for Prospect Riding Center. There was a lot of preparation needed to pull off our Open House Event. Folks really stepped up and worked hard towards the same goal. It was fun to see the excitement when jobs were coming together and results were being seen. As we listed the jobs and needs there were people willing to volunteer for those specific jobs. Healthy pride shown on so many faces as they were free to run with their ideas, and show their talents.

As I was contemplating the fun of it all, Ginny Pellizzaro sent me this note. What a confirmation that like minded people work well together!

“Must be team spirit at Prospect Riding Center……The diversity of our team that allows us to work together with one common energy to achieve one goal or one task has continued to amaze me. The inspiration for all of us is to see this wonderful riding therapy center succeed. We aren’t striving to out do or be bigger but our team strives to make a difference in our clients lives not just for one day but for a life time.

When I first decided to become a volunteer my assigned responsibilities were helping with administration but my true love is being with the horses and mules. As our team grows we not only utilize the best skills of the members but also their passion for being at the center. We all are there to help make the center a success but more importantly for our volunteer time to be a success in our heart, mind and soul.

Thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful life.”

What wonder are you sharing in others lives?

And there was dancin’

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


Write For Myself or For You?

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Conno.  I like quotes, I read this quote earlier this week, and really wondered about blogging. Why do people blog? Why do I?

I know marketing companies believe Blogging is a way to drive folks to your business.

When I write, I’m pouring out my thoughts. I make it my business to be in a lifestyle that i can see change. Writing about making changes in others lives, helps me greatly, especially since there are relationships where i’m not making changes!  I follow many thought provoking Facebook pages, Tweeters, and Linkedin connections. Working with our animals I often make a connection with those experiences and the current information I’ve come across.

Journaling has a been an outlet for me since my teen years. I like to think my blogging is an extension of that.

I hope other people enjoy reading about some of the activities at Prospect Riding Center. Occasionally I get comments through the Patch, and my friends tell me what they think of the blog.

All this to say, I write for myself. I pour my thoughts onto paper. I problem solve on paper. I write myself notes, lists, reminders.

The written word from my own hand is a big part of my life.

The new mules are continuing their training. I had written about their evaluation. We are now taking notes about their training. One great benefit is to look at the progress.

Ace is still more likely to be placed in the program before Duece. This past week Duece stayed in the Lesson Arena for a few days alone. He had extra hay with a surprise under the hay, there were some of the cones and toys we use for Lesson Games. He also ate treats from the mailbox, on top of the big ball,  and on top of the barrels. We can now ride to these items and he will go directly to them. We still need him to trust we can ride to them and stop at the obstacle when it is lined up with his girth, in order for the rider to perform the activity at the obstacles. So, the note taking documents his progression.

How do you measure your progress in a task? Are you able to reflect on progress and find the positive progression, learn from the negative, problem solve with new ideas, and track your results?

Would you be easier on yourself? It helps if you are able to see notes of positive progression and remove a fear of failure. Would you be easier on those around you? One of my life beliefs is to not keep a record of wrongs, this is difficult sometimes. If I rely on feelings instead of facts, I can easily let frustration rise within me. I can lose a teachable moment, hurt someone else’s feelings, or walk away with the wrong mindset.

What kind of record are you keeping? How accurate is that record? Is it based on fact or feeling? If you don’t have an accurate record, you could surely be challenged in your level of tolerance for your own mistakes and especially less tolerance for those around you!

And, how do you feel about the written word?  What is YOUR Favorite Quote? Could you, or would you, want to adopt a quote for a life Mission Statement? Let me know your quote in this Blog’s comment section.

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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


Three Outstanding Benefits of good Facebook Engagement


I have absolutely enjoyed having a Facebook page.  Proving true to the Social Media title it’s been given, there seems to be so much community involvement, it has made my own world larger. Being able to pick and choose the pages I want to interact with, carving out my own preferences allows me to feel more closely related to like minded folks with like minded interests. The influx of information from many different sources shows certain trends, I am therefore able to make better decisions as to what trends I want to endorse on our own Prospect Riding Center Facebook business page, with consideration to how the community favor directs. I am more aware of events, happenings, and activities that Prospect Riding Center can be a part of.  We can also plan our own calendar easier without conflicting with other local events.


Being on Facebook as a business has made me more aware of my personal character and the example I desire to show to others I interact with. I think before I respond to pictures and comments. I decide what I am endorsing when I hit the ‘like’ button, and if it is something I would want my business associated with. Having the understanding that the written word can be easily misconstrued, I carefully evaluate any humor used when posting, and avoid sarcasm. Politeness has taken on a new meaning. I like to believe this is a positive thing and can only improve my people skills. I often find myself giving many ‘kudos’ to other organizations when I see them working hard with the children or adult populations that we serve at Prospect Riding Center. Personally, it feels good when we also receive likes and positive feedback from others.


Bringing research together with the intent to educate a particular audience can often present a challenge. With Facebook we can have the research come to us through our chosen ‘likes’, directly to our news feeds. Through our news feeds we can ‘share’ that info with our fans, and also have it available on our ‘wall’ when others search for us. The more interaction we have going on our page the more this registers among the cyber world and gives us more exposure to potential clients and networking opportunities. Name and brand recognition is important, and the Facebook platform is ideally suited for promotion. With a little creativity, and appropriate social skills, Facebook for businesses can be fun, engaging and beneficial! With some IT help I believe it could make Prospect Riding Center grow larger than I can even imagine!



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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


A Natural Instinct

Watching the new herd dynamics here at Prospect Riding Center I can’t help think of my own behavior. Why?

As we are building our business, we need horses. A therapeutic equine activities horse/mule has to be a cut above when it is considered for a therapeutic program. Needing a variety of horses in size and skill levels to meet participants needs is a challenge.

We added ‘Axel’ to the herd this past week. He is in his second week of evaluation. When we brought him home as with any new animal, we allowed him time to adjust and get to know us and his surroundings. He picked up on our routine and seemed to be falling in place.

The question always being, how will they get along as a herd? Our first reaction was a dramatic one, he was very unfriendly to our littlest mule ‘Lucy’. So unfriendly it was a red flag. We needed to figure out why and what was going on and how to make this work.

As we moved the herd around and took care with introductions, we discovered the herd boss is the mare ‘Babe’. Axel towers over her in size, but backs down in submission. When ever her two herd mates Lucy & Roosevelt (another mule) get too close or play too rough, Babe steps in. She does this from where ever she is in the field. As we watched for hours you could see her instinctively heading off confrontation. Babe is a good lesson horse. A quiet don’t bother me attitude and never seems to be too attentive to people. She usually rests while grooming, and gives little reaction to attention. Who knew she would ‘care’ when it came to herd management?

My weakness is applying human thought to the animals. I entertain myself knowing that what I think can have nothing to do with what is going on.

There is the therapeutic part. “What I think can have nothing to do with what is going on”, wow! Bang head here!

Babe’s behavior is instinctive. We too have instincts, do we take the time to listen to them, trust them?

Living on the ranch can slow life down a bit and make me think. What is in your life that helps you slow down and listen, listen to yourself?

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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Why I became a PATH International Therapeutic Riding and Driving Instructor

My History
Susan A Tambone

Classes of Distinction;
NAMI Family to Family Education Program
Lutheran Family Services
Manatee County Family Services
Special Olympics Volunteer Training
28 hours per year Continuing Education activities for PATH International Riding and Driving Instructor Compliance
Current CPR and First Aid Certifications

Ducks Unlimited
Tribute to Heroes
Local Schools Collier and Manatee Counties
Local Church
Nursing Homes
Local Christian Women’s Business Club
Manasota Operation Troop Support

I have personal experience with my own children with special needs, and 12 years experience with Exceptional Student Services thru the public school system.
When assisting with my youngest child’s needs in a combination with a fascination of horses, I was introduced to Therapeutic Riding in 2004. Having experienced the progress of riders becoming more independent, seeing my own child’s progression, I joyfully shared in their fulfillment. Developing and strengthening my own patience and empathy.

The interest of therapeutic experiences between animals and humans began with the hosting and training of SEGDI service dogs for those with sight impairments over 12 years ago. I see the unique bond and security between animals and people. Our family raised 3 successful guide dogs and hosted many others during their transitions. We currently have a retired breeder from SEGDI.

Because of my own family’s history, medical issues and associated disabilities I have been immersed in finding accommodations and modifications for those with special needs.
My ability to dialogue on a vast scale of personal and professional issues as it relates to limitations, mentally and physically, has been a source of information and comfort to others for years.

After my first year of volunteering with therapeutic riding I wanted to be more closely involved with students and use my own experience in a more tangible way.
The next step was to become a NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicap)
Certified Instructor in 2005 and NARHA Certified Driving Instructor in 2006. NARHA is now PATH International, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship.

I formed my ideas into practical, useful additions to the SMART Therapeutic Riding Center program I was an Instructor with for the next 4 years- (2005-2009) solely in a volunteer position. I became a sub contract Instructor with SMART in 2009.

*I introduced a workable, portable, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) program for those visual learners or non-verbal participants. Included were take home pages and samples for parents and care-givers.

*Created and organized accessible, quick and easy to use horse related craft activities, connected to current lesson plans. Painting, coloring, puzzles using photos of the therapeutic herd of horses, etc. were available in the parent area before lessons and for siblings, guests or visitors during lessons.

*Arranged arena game plans and diagrams in a three ring binder made available to all instructors for ease of availability, with limited time expenditure for arena set up and implementing fresh ideas in the arena.

*Prepared activities for unmounted lessons, utilized for field trips and inclement weather lessons.

*Provided encouragement and praise reinforcement certificates, behavior charts, awards, obtainable for all instructors.

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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


Prospect Riding Center Service Overview

Prospect Riding Center Service Overview
Achieving optimum practical performance along a continuum for each individual,
Theme lessons are designed to fit, concerns and needs- striving to meet established goals.
Individual lessons for private or group.
Multi lesson sessions for private, or group.

Lessons may include review of any previous equine experience, General Horse Sense, Horse Care and Handling rules with reasons ‘why?’, direct access to horses from start to finish, greeting the horse in a stall, leading, grooming, tacking, mounting, and riding, all directly supervised. Individually tailored lesson plans, addressing varied learning styles and modalities, included with measureable objectives and goals. Goals including but not limited to improving self confidence, social confidence, and improving quality of life. Direct observation of these goals with recorded results will be a means of analyzing program effectiveness. Also using a task analysis approach to learning will be easily documented, to show the rate of skill progression toward independence, physically increase flexibility, walking balance, gross motor coordination are just a few of the target performances. All sequenced activities help enhance long term memory, and natural behavior control impact as a result of positive responses from the equine.

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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized