The following article appeared in the November 2009 issue of the Merrimack Valley Voice, a local NH newspaper.
I first met Donna Thornton, owner of Painted Blessings Ranch, a couple of years ago when she contacted me about designing her website. After working with Donna on her site, I realized that not only was she a dedicated and knowledgeable horsewoman, she was one of the nicest people I'd ever met.
Since that first meeting Donna's ranch has become one of the most popular farms in the area, and she has tons of happy and successful clients. So, I recently sat down with Donna to get an update on what is happening over at Painted Blessings. Below are the highlights of our talk.
Q. What services do you currently offer at Painted Blessings?
A. We offer horseback riding lessons in English and western disciplines, lessons to teach safe handling and ground work for horse and owner, boarding (short and long term), mare and foal care including delivery and/or boarding, training for horse and owner, summer horse camp for ages 6-16, pony rides, birthday parties, and outings for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other groups.
Q. What about the facilities at Painted Blessings? Can you give me an overview of your place?
A. We are located on 13.5 acres at the end of a dirt road, and surrounded by hundreds of acres of conservation land and trails, including state snowmobile trails. We have a ten stall barn, 60' fenced sand round pen, 170' x 90' fenced sand arena, and nine acres of fenced, grass pastures, ponds. Also, our farm is easy to get to and we have plenty of parking.
Q. Please describe your training and instruction program.
A. I use and teach natural horsemanship training and riding. We ride dressage, hunter/jumper and western. We also offer colt starting and training, from ground work to under saddle and finishing.
Q. Donna, what trainers have you ridden under, yourself?
A. I rode and trained for two years under a woman from California, Jade DeCampos, who has 35 years of experience in all phases of horsemanship. For the past two years I have been riding under Katherine Dow from Bow, NH. Katherine teaches dressage and hunter/jumper disciplines. I have also educated myself by attending clinics (including an instructor certification clinic), reading, and observing many trainers. And, of course, there's been lots of "on the job training!"
Q. I hear that you offer gift certificates for your different services, such as riding lessons, summer camp, pony rides, training, etc. Is that right?
A. Yes! Gift certificates are available for all of our services. We make the certificates up with lots of care, so they're very pretty and they come with their own envelope, so they're perfect for any gift giving occasion!
Q. So, what is your favorite thing about owning and running Painted Blessings Ranch?
A. I love sharing all my blessings with children... and adults. I love to teach and I love to see the smiles on the faces of all those that come to the ranch!
For those interested in learning more about Painted Blessings Ranch, go online to www.PaintedBlessingsRanch.com or call Donna at 603-568-8482.