Hope Reins Program Welcomes New Edition, Flash

July 30, 2018

Donating her horse to Hope Reins, Palmer Home for Children’s therapeutic equine program, was not an easy decision for Allison Crews. Flash, a 16-year-old Registered Appaloosa, had been part of her family since he was born. Ultimately, however, Allison knew Flash would be in good hands on the Columbus campus.

“I knew he’d get a lot of love and attention,” Allison said. “And he gives it back. A lot of horses are aloof, but he is not. He is outgoing, friendly, and will come see you. And he loves treats! He’s just a perfect, big love.”

Flash joins 10 other horses on the Palmer Home Columbus campus. Monday through Thursday, children at Palmer Home have the ability to ride horses in the mornings, with special activities throughout the year, including a horse show on campus each Fall.

Choosing to give Flash up was difficult, but knowing where she wanted him to enjoy his next few years was easy. Allison has a long history with Palmer Home, as does Flash. She married into the Crews family, who has been heavily involved with Camp Palmer through Independent Presbyterian Church since the camp’s inception 50 years ago. Her husband, Jim, grew up going to Camp Palmer. Allison has been a horse instructor, working with the horse program at Camp Palmer for almost 10 years now, and Flash has made the trip to camp a few years as well.

Flash’s connection to many of the children made him especially welcome. Pam Cunningham, riding instructor at Palmer Home, feels blessed to have Flash in the Hope Reins program.

“The kids already love him because they know him,” she said. “He’s well trained, sweet and is a valuable addition.”

Being part of the Palmer Home mission is important to Allison and her family. Growing her connection with the children through Flash is something that brings her great joy.

“It’s just really important to all of us,” she said. “I have loved being a mentor to a number of boys and girls. We’ll have one more thing to connect with the kids in Columbus in knowing I was Flash’s first mother.”

Flash is very accustomed to people. When he was born, he had complications with his feet that required special care. He recovered fully and spent many years as a fox hunting horse.

“He’s solid, sound, and in good shape,” Allison said. “He’s healthy and easy to keep with many more years of life ahead of him. I can’t think of a better place for him to be loved on, and return that love, than with so many kids who care about him.”