Trainer of Champions, Paige Clough,
Brings Miniature Horses to SIRE
SIRE educational program instructor, Paige Clough, says with a laugh that this year’s American Miniature Horse Association World Show was the best for her barn, Mini-ventures. Paige’s minis and her students brought home a total of 6 reserve and world championships.
Paige quickly turns more serious when she explains her desire to see SIRE clients at the show next year. She’s so committed that she joined Fort Bend site manager Toni McConway in selecting three minis for the Fort Bend site.
Already, the minis are making a huge difference in the lives of our clients. Matthew Guidry, a parent of a SIRE client, recently wrote us with his son Matthew’s story:
My son Matthew just happens to be autistic. As challenging as this journey has been, I know that Mellissa and I have been given this beautiful son to enlighten us and teach us patience, fortitude and the value of cohesive parental effort. Luckily we have Anna Gabriella, big sister, to balance and strengthen our family resolve. Matthew was reticent about riding, and resisted the loving instruction provided by the SIRE staff. Over the past four years, the wonderful staff and volunteers have furthered his development immensely, and there are no words available to describe how powerfully this opportunity has changed our family’s life. Thank you to all of the SIRE community.
As a side benefit, Matthew has grown to love not only the horses that have helped him, but also the mini horses that Ms. Paige works into to his sessions. When I see how much he adores those gorgeous animals I just want to cry! He loves on the mini’s as if they were his own. He pets, brushes and even walks them. After the first session with the mini’s he exclaimed, “had fun riding horses” on the drive out of the Sire parking lot. I was astounded as this was a great leap forward for us. Matthew does not share his feelings nor speak very much without prompting. I truly believe his connections with these horses will open up many more experiences for us.
Thank you again for all that this awesome experience contributes to our lives.
Mellissa, Matt, Gigi and Matthew Guidry
Paige and her daughter Bridget’s commitment extends to their donating the proceeds of their horse books to help underwrite the mini program. Already, profits have enabled SIRE’s minis Scarlet, Gracie, and Indy to have new halters, lead ropes, and grooming buckets. Next on the wish list is a teeter-totter to enable SIRE clients to practice this trail obstacle.
Paige has been involved in minis ever since her daughter, Bridget, was a little girl. Now a teenager, Bridget is also training the minis and has an Instagram account, mardithemini, with training videos. Stay tuned for another mini book, Nosy Rosie, due out this spring!