Meet our Instructors: MikhailMay 17, 2013
LAC: Tell us about when you first started vaulting. Mikhail: I officially decided to continue with Vaulting after I did a clinic with THE Devon Maitozo in January 2012. It was probably the most exhausting hour of my life. I knew at that point that I really needed to commit if I wanted to continue with the sport. So I did just that and became an AVA member soon after. LAC: What vaulting accomplishment are you most proud of? Mikhail: The first would be competing in AVA Nationals this past summer and becoming the Men's Trot National Champion. The second would be designing the most AWESOME UNIFORM EVER for my next competition. LAC: What is the greatest thing being a vaulter has taught you? Mikhail: That would probably be teamwork. Which is funny because Im not a big fan of team sports. All my life I have done things that have been very individual in nature, things like track and field, gymnastics, martial arts, even riding. In the horse world, I'm so used to doing things on my own.However in Vaulting ... I just can’t do that. When trying to practice vaulting, I can work with my horse Goliath, but then when I want to vault, I must have someone else to lunge him for me. A clone would be an easy solution ... but then I would not be learning to work with others. So I would say this is an ongoing learning experience. LAC: What's your favorite experience with a vaulting horse? Mikhail: First would be with my horse Goliath. He is my oversized baby and Vaulting really wasn’t on our list of things to do, but we tried one day and it was half way successful. So we continued. He has come so far since I first met him 2 years ago. One aspect of Vaulting is harmony with the horse ... Goliath and I have a very strong bond. He is VERY different from every other vaulting horse but at the end of the day, I trust him and he trusts me. My favorite vaulting moment would be when I tried standing at the canter with Goliath. We made it and we both were dead when that lesson was over. The second would be our former Vaulting horse Brego. Brego was a rescue horse like Goliath but from a completely different situation. He was 13 and had never been broken to ride. Most would never thing to try vaulting on an untrained horse, but Brego was VERY WISE. He took to Vaulting like no other horse could. We had many training sessions with him and he even participated in our summer vaulting camps. Unfortunately, Brego passed away due to a colic situation. The promise that I made to him was that my next vaulting freestyle would be dedicated to him. I picked my music, made a new freestyle, and even designed my uniform. My goal is to compete at nationals again this year for my awesome equine friend Brego.
LAC: What do you most enjoy about coaching vaulting?
Mikhail: Teaching in general forces you to pay very close attention to detail. My teaching has definately made me strive to get better at what I do and in the end, everything always works out. I always look forward to teaching the vaulting class ... its so much FUN!!! The students recently performed a freestyle they had been working on all semester long and I just about cried because everything went so well. From finding what moves to perform, to the music and watching these kids work so hard and so well together was just heart warming. I love what I do and look forward to continuing the growth of our awesome Unbridled Vaulting Club.
Kentucky Gives DayApr 14, 2013
What if you could help shape Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass’ future with just a few clicks?
On April 24th, you can! You can help 'change lives' by supporting the programs offered at Life Adventure Center with your donation.
Kentucky Gives Day is a 24-hour state-wide fundraising event bringing nonprofits such as Life Adventure Center and Kentuckians together for a powerful day of action. Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to support our special programs that serve military families, disadvantaged youth and adults with physical and mental challenges. This event will give us the opportunity to share our story as well as the stories of some of the lives that have been changed and impacted by the programs we offer. We are proud of the legacy of our organization and we are excited to participate in this single online giving site that will last only 24 hours! So we need your help!
On Wednesday, April 24th please go to: http://www.razoo.com/story/Life-Adventure-Center for more information and videos. Please, show your support for Life Adventure Center and click on donate now. Or, use the widget below to schedule your donation now!
Kentucky Gives Day is a chance for you to make a real difference in our Commonwealth by supporting causes that you care about. Your investments in the extraordinary nonprofit organizations serving our communities will allow us to come together as one generous Kentucky.
Working with Mentors and MealsApr 08, 2013
Life Adventure Center works with dozens of youth groups every year. But one that stands out is the Mentors and Meals program in Woodford County. Mentors and meals is an after school program for middle school kids, that meets Monday-Thursday. Students have time to study and be tutored by local volunteers and high school students. Select students are offered extended programing on Friday afternoons here at LAC. 'The primary goal of Mentors and Mealss is to enhance academic achievement by providing out of school time mentoring (tutoring/homework help) as well as a hot meal for Woodford County middle school students utilizing peer mentors from the local high school along with college interns and qualified adult volunteers.'-Lisa Johnson of Mentors and Meals
Mentors and Meals is now in its 2nd school year. There are important results from last school year which are still consistent this year that show success. For example, over half (30 out of 60) of the student participants have shown at least a one grade improvement in core subject areas (math, science, social studies and/or language arts) from one quarter to the next. In the 8 week pilot the program looked specifically at GPA and, as a whole, the group improved from a 2.5 GPA to a 2.7. The volunteer service hours are also noteworthy: 70 high school/college students plus 35 adult volunteers dedicated over 2,600 hours of community service toward mentoring or meal prep in one school year!
In the past, Life adventure center has been involved with the program by providing a mobile unit challenge course in order to get the group engaged with some fun learning initiatives. This year LAC has partnered with the program to allow a select number of students to visit our property weekly. Once on our property the students participate in group activities led by a mix of LAC and youth center staff. Allowing them to come to LAC is considered a reward for students who continue to show improvement in school and maintain attendance in the Mentors and Meals program. LAC gears activities toward education and focus on learning while having fun in a great outdoors environment. Working on positive goal setting and challenging students to “think outside of the box”. Getting students involved in our outdoor adventure program allows them to have a positive experience outdoors and gain knowledge of their environment. LAC is proud to be a continuing part of this great program.
For more information on this program and others like, or to find out how you can help us continue to offer low cost or free programs to youth in the area. Please contact us.
Rookie WFRMar 26, 2013
by Jeremiah Myers
I’ve spent a lot of time hiking, biking, boating, and generally enjoying the outdoors in various ways that will eventually wreak havoc on my body. Thus far, I’ve been lucky. I haven’t suffered any of the injuries that make for a great story later. My friends, while accident prone, have reserved their most spectacular injuries for areas where 911 is still an option.
But I’m gifted with a remarkable imagination. This has been helped along the way by a few things. One of my favorite writers, Bill Bryson, has a remarkable capacity to imagine various unlikely and interesting scenarios in which the universe will kill him. My high school physiology teacher considered taped episodes of “Rescue 9-1-1” (with all of the accompanying blood and gore) to be the height of the educational experience. And on some level, my mother and grandmothers’ expressions of 'you’re just not going to stop until you kill yourself, are you?' must be sinking in…
So for me, a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification has been a personal and professional goal as I become increasingly aware of my own (and others’) mortality. The Wilderness Medical Associates International motto is “Face any challenge, anywhere.” That’s a daunting statement, but it’s certainly reflected in their curriculum. Each WFR class is designed to take an outdoor enthusiast, and turn them into a competent first responder.
On our first morning, I was (to put it mildly) anxious. The world is a big, cold, dark place and a lot can go wrong with our bodies. Could I learn enough to deal with whatever might come my way? I was prepared to study, to memorize, to inhale copious amounts of information in a very short time.
This is where I was quickly impressed by the WFR program. The goal wasn’t for us to be able to regurgitate a medical school textbook. The WFR program is much more practical than that…they teach you to look first, to analyze, and then to deal with the patient. As our instructors instilled over the week…'If your patient can’t breathe, breathe for them. If their airway isn’t clear, clear it for them. If their heart isn’t pumping, pump for them. If they’re losing fluid, stop the loss and help them replace the fluids.' Easy, right?
Over the course of the week, our instructors would present us with a lecture or a practical skill, and then move us outside for a simulation that had us put that new information to work. We might step outside to find our classmates crushed by a tree, fallen from a tree, impaled on a tree branch, burned by a tree (that had been struck by lightning) or having hit a tree while skiing. By Thursday I was eyeing the forest around us with an unusual degree of suspicion.
I found in just a few short days that I felt better about being a WFR. While the unknown might be a source of anxiety, I found that I could take a lot of comfort in this new practice of analysis. Looking forward to a long season of adventures, I take some comfort that a quality instructor has given me their vote of confidence. With my certification as a WFR, a proven system has said that I’m ready to handle an emergency. I hope I never have to use it. But I will also say that earning this certification is one of the most satisfying accomplishments of my life.
Birds of a Feather...Mar 18, 2013
by Barb Cornett
Do you enjoy the sights and sounds of birds in your yard? Do you fill your birdfeeders throughout the year to entice your feathered friends in for a free meal? Do you sit and watch the flurry of action outside your window as birds discover a tasty treat? Do you like the cold, snowy winter scene of cardinals stopping by to refuel and energize at your bird feeding station? Do you try to determine what types of birds are attracted to your feeders? Do you ever wonder what they are saying to each other? Bird watching may be in your blood!
As a child, my Mom always fed the birds in our yard. I remember the bird feeders carefully hung in the hemlock tree beside our screened porch. I would sit on the porch to watch the birds gather for a meal. Now that all of Mom’s children have grown up and moved away, she has more time and resources to care for her feathered friends. Mom knows the right ingredients to draw her favorite bird crowd. When I go home to visit my parents, I can always count on a delightful show outside the window. Time slows down and my blood pressure lowers while viewing the tranquil setting. Everyone can benefit from this relaxing hobby.
Spring is just around the corner. The birds are beginning to return from warmer climates. They are the first sounds you hear in the predawn hours. They are actively building nests and preparing to raise their young. It is a great time to explore their world.
Would you like to learn what the birds are chirping about to each other? Would you like to try to differentiate between the different birds’ calls? Would you like to learn what it takes to make a simple bird bath?
On Saturday April 20, 2013, please join me at Life Adventure Center for our Play Date with Your Mate! We will participate in activities to answer these questions and learn something about ourselves in the process. This event is open to couples looking for an engaging outdoor activity to do with their spouse. We will spend time learning about bird basics in a beautiful wooded area of our farm. We will enjoy a picnic lunch and put into practice our bird watching skills. We will take a hike through our woods to discover what birds and other animals call our farm home.
Come meet other couples who share your passion for bird watching and the outdoors! Share your enthusiasm, knowledge, and learn from others. Bring your binoculars, bird books, water bottles, and dress for the weather. Sturdy shoes or hiking boots are recommended as we will hike on our trails. Don’t miss out on this fun spring event; make time to enjoy each other and the great outdoors!