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Wind in the Woods

Auburn Twp. – Diane and Tom Jones always dreamed of owning horses. As they both grew up in Maple Heights, their dream did not come true until later in life. Now, they are the proud owners of a horse farm that they call The Wind in the Woods.wiwhorseThe Joneses specialize in Arabian horses and improving that particular breed’s reputation. Arabians  are commonly considered flighty, unpredictable and even dangerous to work with. The Jonses, however, disagreed and they set out to prove that Arabians are not only just as safe as other breeds, but that, because of their high intelligence and energy, they are more rewarding to work with.

According to Diane, the largest hurdle Arabians face is abuse, but that if they are “treated with respect, they learn things and they get it. If they are treated badly, they have long memories and they have the capability of not cooperating.” Further, she explained, “They are loyal, they give you their hearts. If they trust you, they will absolutely go through fire. They will climb mountains for you.”

So, taking their well-loved Arabians out for children to ride, the Joneses discovered a bond they did not expect.

While their horses had always been gentle with young riders, the Jonses found a special relationship developing between the horses and children with disabilities. “There was a connection between the horses and these children. The horses took extra care with them, and, even more astonishing, we have had nonverbal children, children with Autism spectrum, who became verbal when with the horses.” These children, Diane explained, would talk to the horses and even give verbal commands to the horses even though they were nonverbal the rest of their day.

In addition to their love of horses and helping children, the Jonses are taking steps to make their farm entirely green. They have already installed solar panels which, according to Diane, will pay for themselves within 5 years of their set-up, and they are currently awaiting approval from Geauga county and their township, Auburn, to make their farm true to its name, the Wind in the Woods, and build a wind turbine.

Put simply, Diane said they believe “Any time we can leave the Earth in a better shape than the way we found it, it’s good for us.”

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Heather Braddock is the reporter for the cities of Aurora and Streetsboro. She hails from Bedford, where she and her husband Michael (who is also her photographer) live. A Kent State University graduate of 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Adolescent and Young Adult education for Integrated Language Arts, Heather is a high school English, media studies and communication teacher at Akron Digital Academy. She is pursuing her Masters in English for Teachers with a focus on journalism.