Welcome to our first feature Friday! ... Each Friday we will feature, "People & Horses Helping Horses & People." It is my hope that these stories will be shared all around the internet, to help them help, and to celebrate the good that is being done by selfless people and horses. Today we celebrate Toni Christopher, Starlight Stables and Rambler.
I first met Toni when I interviewed her for a story a few years back; she is a tireless woman who is devoted to helping others. I wrote about her horse Rambler. A magnificent Quarter Horse whose life so touched me I considered writing a novel based on his life ... In fact I still am. Rambler was bred to be a champion Barrel Racer, and he was. But as is far too often the case, as he aged he became too slow to snare the ribbons, and so began his trips down the roads. Over the next decade he taught many a young rider to fly around the barrels, until in each case, the student needed more speed. Then, Rambler would be sold, again. Toni found him when he was in a neglected state, took him home, and nursed him back to health. He spent his last years swaddled in love, teaching still more youngsters the joys and rewards of loving horses and riding skills. Like all great teachers he touched and inspired many lives. Rambler is buried just outside Toni's office under the big Oak where he loved to nap.
Toni is a lifelong horse lover, and advocate for horses and children. As a young girl she would wish upon a star that at someday she would have a farm where she could share her love of horses with others. When the day finally came she already had the name, “Starlight Stables.” Over the years Toni has used her own money to rescue numerous horses. Many have gone on to enjoy long careers as trail, show and barrel racing horses. Toni was the 4-H horse club leader in Mobile County AL for seven years, and will be soon re-open her 4H club due to requests from local parents and children.
While Starlight Stables is a full service boarding and training horse facility Toni donates her time freely to help children learn the world of horses, and with horses, lessons and summer camps, helps children build confidence and self esteem. Toni says, “I have advocated for horses for many years and will continue to do so. I want people to be aware of how important it is to take proper care of them and know what it takes to have one in your family. The joy will outweigh the work and responsibility.”
She also organizes fund raising rides to benefit cancer research, and this fall will host the Heavens Gaits Obstacle Challenge, to honor her sister and her Aunt and all those who have lost loved ones to cancer. “Horses have always helped me to get through hard times and I know they can help others also,” Toni said.
Check out Starlight Stables here www.starlightstables.weebly.com
Have a perfect day! ~ Gitty Up, Dutch