Join Our Family
Personal Ponies is unique in that everyone in our program is a volunteer. No one is paid a penny to do the work of our mission. What that does is make each and every one of us responsible for what happens within the program. When someone makes a choice to participate in our program, whether it is stuffing envelopes, grooming a pony, helping with administrative work or working with a child, everyone is doing their part in making magic in the lives of children with special needs and everyone becomes responsible for each other.
In 1986, Personal Ponies officially began its mission to serve others by “offering smiles and pony magic”. Our goal was to provide small Shetland ponies to be friends and companions for children who are differently able. Because there is a child in all of us and we all have areas of our lives that can be considered “differently able” there is no limit to how old you have to be or what kind of special need you face. There is even more to our program than just the exchange between the pony and the child.
What we do is valuable in reflecting possible changes of attitude and values in our society. There sometimes seems to be a loss of concern for each other in our society. Personal Ponies mission is to affect all of us emotionally and intellectually by serving and having these special ponies available in various centers all over the country. John Ciardi the poet and critic remarked “it is never about ideas, but about the experience of ideas.”
Marianne Alexander, founder of Personal Ponies, said that in a sense we are story tellers. We are telling the age old story of caring in our own unique way. The way a society deals with its story telling is part of the story of that society. One of her favorite quotes to give meaning to what our program is all about was from Lewis Hyde’s book “The Gift” –
“…I have been a lucky man. To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes to us from those whom we do not know…that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being – and unites all living things.”