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Life on Hill Q&A with Gina Stephenson

POSTED: June 8, 2017 10:43 a.m.
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Julia Stephenson stands with one of the horses at the stable.

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Q: What is your name and current job title?

A: Gina Stephenson, director at RHUMC Day School

Q) What is your involvement with Grace Stables?

A: Ann and I were introduced a few years ago by a mutual friend. When she learned Julia had a love for horses and had taken lessons, she offered to take her to see her horse, Daisy. We continued to stay in touch. Ann told me she had bought property here in Richmond Hill with a horse barn and pastures and was building a house there too. I know this was a dream come true for her! I told her Julia would love to come out and help her with the horses. She graciously accepted the offer and welcomed Julia. I know nothing about horses. To be honest, they make me a little nervous. Julia has always had a passion for them since she was a toddler. Ann started letting Julia come out after school last November and on weekends to learn the ropes. She has taught her to unload hay, clean stalls, feed, clean tack, groom and bathe the horses, and so much more. Ann even calls when the vet or farrier is coming so that Julia can watch and learn.

Julia also takes lessons from Ann and a few other ladies who teach there. It is such a wonderful opportunity for Julia to learn from different trainers and on different horses.

Q) How have you seen the lessons at Grace Stables and working with Ann influence your daughters’ ability and confidence?

A: Julia’s confidence and riding abilities have grown tremendously since working with Ann. Julia is still timid, but her skills and confidence are growing each time.

Q) Have you seen the lessons and working around the stables impact Julia in other ways?

A: Julia is quiet and shy by nature. Working with the horses has made a big impact on bringing out her personality. She can be quite serious, but the horses bring out big smiles.

Q) What makes Grace Stables and Ann Eaker such a great place for aspiring horse riders?

A: Everyone there is so encouraging, knowledgeable, and passionate. I am so happy for Ann that she is able to live her dream of owning a horse farm. She’s so giving and kind. I thank her all the time for what she has done for us. She is sharing her love of horses with others and loving every minute of it! As she says all the time, "It’s good for her soul."

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