At Tyler Mountain Stables we know the benefits horses can bring to your life.
We are committed to helping make it possible for ALL people to enjoy these benefits.
Coordination, balance, fine motor skills, strength, flexibility, posture. Aside from the physical benefits horses also boost confidence, communication skills, teamwork, responsibility and trust among many others. These skills will stay with a child / person throughout their life.
It all starts with the roots that can no longer be seen,
but serve as the foundation of it all.
I often wonder what it is about this place that gives it such an ability to touch the life of a person. For some it is just a place, a moment in time, a memory. For others it becomes a part of who they are.
For a "place" to have what feels like a soul, a spirit with ever changing moods or palpable changes in the atmosphere within it.
Although I have lived this experience, I still cannot fully describe or understand what happens. Some may think it crazy but I will forever believe what I have felt and seen with my own eyes in my 26 years at this barn.
Tyler Mountain Stables is an entity all its own, not needing anyone's name to be honored by, but the programs that operate from within its walls will always be in memory and honor of the first life forever changed by it. This land, structure or life within it that has been said to stand on ancient Indian grounds, whispers the name of its truest believer, Janet Carmen Preston.
Janet who was a stunningly beautiful lady was fighting a war with addiction. As a young woman this addiction had all but stolen her from her family and her kids, from herself. As the years went on sometimes violent, sad and out of control, it seemed like nothing could reach the real person that only hope said still existed in her somewhere.
Life would change with the crash of a car. The last respect her daughter, Sandy Preston, had for her mother was lost with the blood shed that day. To this day Sandy still bears the scar across her mouth from her teeth being forced through her lips, a scar caused by her Mother, caused by alcohol.
Janet ordered by the court to "dry out" was offered a job by her cousin who had just built a new barn "boarding stable" right beside the old one which both stood beside the farmhouse Janet grew up in and still lived in. Janet hesitant because of her extreme fear of horses. She chose this new job over the only other option given by the court, which was jail.
She was to feed, water and clean the stalls of the horses boarded in the stalls that were within new barn. The first time, the first day, the first effort, this is where it began. Everything has to start this same way. A first.
Long after the court ordered time period had passed Janet was still spending her every day caring for the horses which she said were helpless locked in the stalls. They depended on her much like her own kids had, but only the horses held the power to keep her sober long enough to see it.
Hours then Days passed. She remained Sober.
Slowly she rebuilt relationships with her family, her daughter Sandy looked at her mom and felt proud instead of shame.
As time always changes everything, Tyler Mountain Stables was put up for sale. Janet's job would likely be lost with the sale.
Then as if something from a movie Janet received a letter from a lawyer explaining that a great Aunt whom she never knew existed had passed away and left Janet with her life savings.
The amount of money Janet was to receive just so happened to be almost to the dollar the price of TMS. Of all the things she had ever dreamed of buying or places she dreamed of visiting, nothing could compare now to this place for which she owed her life.
She purchased the barn and a small mobile home on a lot next to her family homeplace. Her new home was within a very short walk to the barn. Years went on. Janet never missed a day.
Little did anyone know the extent to which Janet and her barn was now changing the lives others who walked into it. She was a one of a kind woman who got back up, faced her fears and demons and turned a devastating moment into a family business. A successful business. That alone gave inspiration to others. The effects that she, the barn and or the horses within it was having on so many lives would go unappreciated until long after. To this day they are still being realized.
Sandy working as much as she could by the side of her mother had become quite an accomplished horse woman which gave Janet a pride that couldn’t be matched by anything.
Janet would never forgive herself for all the ways she had ever let her children down, it was a burden she would carry with her each and every day until her death but she could do for her daughter what had been done for her. She would give the barn to her daughter … with one stipulation, Janet would continue to care for the horses each and every day. Janet still believed this responsibility was the only power strong enough to stop her from giving in to the daily struggle with the urge for alcohol.
Years passed. People, children and adults came and went. Their secrets, dreams, pain, happiness, failures and accomplishments are held forever at TMS.
Janet held true to her word until an illness became the only thing to ever keep her from the job she took all those years before. She would only live a short time from the last day she was able to go to the place that had saved her. I had the honor of being with her and Sandy in Janet's last moments. All she asked Is that her daughters never feel alone again and that the horses were always cared for to her standards and her children and family to know she loved them. She asked a promise of me, that I would always be there with Sandy so she would never be alone. I made this promise and although Sandy is blessed with a wonderful family, this is a promise I am honored to keep. She also wanted her beloved dog bud bud to be cared for, I also held him when his time came to reunite with her.
Janet was one of the few lucky people who understood what really mattered in life, how easy those things could be overlooked and how important it was to not take them for granted.
TMS has always stood with a certain pride that can't come from housing fancy horses or winning at any horse show, It stands with a pride all its own, unlike any other.
Sometime after Sandy took over the barn, my story began. My story like so many others would go unnoticed by anyone, except the barn itself. I can only imagine how many other lives were changed and even saved as mine had been, with no attention drawn to it. It took me years to realize what this place had been to me. What it still is to this day. To this barn I owe my life. With respect I will in time share some of the stories that have never been seen or heard by anyone other than the barn itself .... I will do my best to give credit to this one of a kind place, the person who first shared its gifts and her daughter who has allowed me to become a part of it.
Over the span of its 38 years the original structure of Tyler Mountain Stables has now been remodeled several times and additions have doubled it in size. I have no doubt that Janet C. Preston is proud.
Whether its been 41 years or yesterday, if you have a small memory or a detailed life changing story about your time at TMS please send it to [email protected].
If you don’t yet have one, we invite you to make one, here with us, in this one of a kind place.
Whether for a moment, or a lifetime, that's up to you.
Marlena I. Thornton