posted by Denise Chasin at 2013-02-19 21:15:00
In 2007, the very special Ludham family and their two year old daughter, Mahala, joined Personal Ponies Ltd. One of the first ponies from our program to visit the Ludham’s Hillside Ranch was Greystone White Raine, known as Raine. However, Raine’s first visit to the Ludham’s was only in passing. Jeri, Mahalas’s mom, had agreed to help transport three ponies from Atlanta to Louisiana for us and Raine was one of them. Raine spent three days with the Ludlam's and during that time, the whole family fell in love with her. Raine went on her way and two other ponies were sent to Hillside Ranch for Mahala, Lady Blue and her gelded sone Tippy. Three years later, Raine’s caretaker, Kay, called Jeri and asked if she would be interested in caring for Raine and her filly Abby. As Jeri said, “it had to be fate”.
Jeri was delighted and really had no idea at the time the impact Raine would make on Mahala and the friendship that would follow. The pictures we have shared show what a delightful, patient, cooperative Greystone's White Raine has taught a 6 yr old child with Down Syndrome!!! Doctors and therapists had told the family that it was impossible for Mahala to ride completely independently...Raine said, "Stick with me, kid, and we'll DO the impossible"!!! She gave Mahala wings and for that Jeri will tell you she is so grateful!!
Six years later, an 8 year old Mahala is competing in barrel racing and has taught Raine HERSELF the barrel racing patterns. Mahala races against TYPICAL kids....and wins. The pony AND the child LOVE IT!!! To share some of Mahala’s own words with everyone, “My name is Mahala Ludlam. I am 7 years old and I live at the Hillside Ranch in Eufaula, Alabama. We have all kinds of animals on our farm, and I am learning to take care of them. I go to Eufaula Primary School. I am in 2nd grade in Mrs. Hatfield's class. I love my friends. I can dance and sing and ride my horse and read. My horse, Dusty, and I compete against typical kids at Stateline Horseman's Association. In 2012, I have won 8 belt buckles and over 100 ribbons in Barrel Racing, Arena Racing, Tunnel Racing, and Potato Racing...and oh yeah, I have Down Syndrome. But that's not what makes me special. I make me special. My mom says I am NOT DISabled....I am DIFFERENTLY-able. . I may not do things just like everyone else, and it may take a little longer for me, but I CAN do them. Besides what does it matter how long it takes?? We get in too big a hurry in life anyway and forget to LIVE!!!!! Thank you for visiting my page and helping me get the message out to other people who are differently- abled or have children who are differently abled, that we CAN do it!! We can do things thought impossible by our doctors and therapists. Never let them set limits on you!!! You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who DOES NOT make mistakes!!! Only Believe!!! If we can ever be of help to you, please contact us at: Attn: Mahala Ludlam Hillside Ranch 190 Hidden Acres Road Eufaula, Alabama 36027”
In 2010, the family had some financial and health challenges which forced them to downsize their pony herd from 10 to only a couple. They kept Raine and she is now retired with them at age 29 where she still is ridden regularly by Mahala. The family wishes they also had Abby who is taking after her mother in personality and patience. In Jeri’s words, “Raine has been blessing to us every day. Mahala comes home from school each day wanting to go directly to the barn. This patient pony allows her to halter, groom and (with help) tack her, and we have total confidence that she is safe on Raine.” Mahala has become quite a horseperson and is currently a Champion barrel racer because of the skills that Raine taught her that she could carry with her to ride the big horse that she races. She and Raine will participate in Pony Barrels in 2013. We are truly thankful for teacher (Greystone White Raine) and student (Mahala).
Jeri said, “She was sent for Mahala I know that!!!!”
OTHER FABULOUS PHOTOS....TO AMAZING NOT TO SHARE!!!!!
posted at: 2013-02-19 21:15:00, last updated: 2014-06-17 14:37:02