DRY RIDGE, Ky. – Call it a mission, a passion, a lot of work… but whatever you call it, Jody Keeley said, it just gets into your skin.
It’s not a hospital. It’s not a sit down, one-on-one therapy session. It’s fun.
That’s how Keeley, a 54-year-old mom, grandma, teacher and equine therapist, refers to equine therapy at her non-profit Lovesome Stables in Dry Ridge.
And for wearing all those hats, and at least one saddle, and for overcoming “significant personal obstacles,” Gov. Steve Beshear honored Keeley with Kentucky’s Challenge Award.
“It’s been said that a lot of people doing a little bit can make a big difference,” Beshear said to Keeley and 14 others honored in August. “You have shown that one person doing a lot, can cause a wave of change.”
But the recognition isn’t why she does what she does.
“It is my life. It’s just what I do. [I] do it for the love of human beings.”
Volunteer Janie Mattill and rider Jake Arnold, 9, of Walton, wash Max before taking him for a ride on Aug. 25, 2014, at Lovesome Stables in Dry Ridge, Ky. Jessica Noll | WCPO
Jody Keeley leads Max and Brazo from the stables to the barn for her class on Aug. 25, 2014, at Lovesome Stables in Dry Ridge, Ky. Jessica Noll | WCPO
Batman takes a break as Jody Keeley watches riders on Aug. 25, 2014, at Lovesome Stables in Dry Ridge, Ky. Jessica Noll | WCPO
CeCe, an Appaloosa mare, gets washed on Aug. 25, 2014, at Lovesome Stables in Dry Ridge, Ky. Jessica Noll | WCPO
Lovesome, which means ‘a warm embrace’, has been Jody Keeley’s dream for as long as she can remember. And while starting a family and a career shifted her priorities, she never forgot about one day opening a stable dedicated to those with special needs.
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