History of the Ranch
The founders of the ranch, the Robben family, were traditional row crop farmers. The previous owners founded Black Tie Arabians which was an equestrian breeding, training and showing facility. One of the early breeders of Pinto Half Arabians, they successfully showed their horses at the Regional, Scottsdale and National level. Their breeding program focused on producing beautiful Pintos, Purebred and Half Arabians, with athletic talent and good dispositions to excel in a multiple of disciplines.
I’ve been a teacher for 24 years and grew up riding horses. I found Horseplay and put my experience of teaching children and my love for horses together. I’ve been a volunteer for approximately 14 years. A parent once told me that horseplay was the only activity her daughter expressed excitement and emotion for. It was important that she ride every week. This is just one example that keeps me involved with HP. There are many more wonderful success stories I could tell.
I have been at Whispering Winds Ranch for 12 years and it is the best facility I have had my horses stabled. Miles of riding around the ranch to start the morning, and both a large outdoor arena as well as an indoor arena for year-round riding. It’s quiet and peaceful setting is perfect for just laying around on a hammock and enjoying the afternoon’s gentle breezes.
Whispering Winds Ranch & Sanctuary is a beautiful facility. We pride ourselves in making sure our horses have the best care possible. Safety is our number one priority. Our most important volunteers (our fabulous therapy horses) are happy and healthy thanks to the care provided by our staff and WWR. Thank you Whispering Winds for partnering with Horseplay and for giving us all of the opportunities we need to grow and nurture our program.
Our son, Simon, has been participating in the recreational therapeutic riding program of Horseplay Therapeutic Riding for about 24 years. We chose this program for Simon since it is affiliated with the national P.A.T.H. association and all of the instructors undergo a rigorous P.A.T.H. certification process before they are allowed to work with participants.
The benefits of Horseplay for Simon are many. First are the physical benefits that have strengthened his core and improved his sense of balance. Second, our autistic son benefits from the mental challenge of having to focus and concentrate. Years ago, we saw this come into play as our son was able to ride a horse independently around the arena much to our amazement. Finally, his laughter and smiles say it all as he truly enjoys his Wednesday sessions with his excellent instructor Sharon Commiso. We so appreciate Horseplay’s focus on safety, growth and affordability.
Our daughter Rylee, has been participating in the therapeutic riding program of Horseplay Therapeutic Riding for about four and a half years. We were told about this program from a fellow special needs parent.
Rylee absolutely loves coming and riding and interacting with all the volunteers and staff. She receives physical benefits, strengthening her core muscles, improving her balance and hopefully keeping her out of a wheel chair in the future. Also, Rylee receives social benefits from dealing with all the different volunteers. We love that the staff challenges her to use her strengths and they even design games and activities that allow all the riders to participate. Rylee looks forward to her weekly ride with her beautiful white pony! The Horseplay staff and volunteers have become family. We truly appreciate Horseplay and all they have brought into our special girls life!