Horseback rider says safety officials helped avert disaster on trail
by Megan Thornton
June 14, 2013 12:34 AM | 4005 views | 6 6 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Horseback riding instructor Ann Green and her group of young students are hoping to thank Cobb County first responders with a barbecue for helping the riders Sunday after Green was injured after falling off her horse during a ride at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield. From left are, Kiana Thompson, Jenny Knight, Alyssa Thompson and Green. <br>Special to the MDJ
Horseback riding instructor Ann Green and her group of young students are hoping to thank Cobb County first responders with a barbecue for helping the riders Sunday after Green was injured after falling off her horse during a ride at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield. From left are, Kiana Thompson, Jenny Knight, Alyssa Thompson and Green.
Special to the MDJ
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MARIETTA — After a scare on the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park trails over the weekend, the owner of a Hiram horse farm is hoping to thank Cobb County public service members who came to her rescue.

Ann Green, owner of Dusty’s Haven horse stables, said she took three young riders to the trails Sunday when the weather turned stormy and the horses became wary of the situation.

“It was raining, the ground was soaked and we had a couple of spooky horses,” Green said.

About a mile into the trail, Green got off her horse to help two of the girls switch horses because of the animals’ erratic behavior. When she tried to get back on her horse, it decided to bolt.

“I had one foot in the stirrup and one out,” Green said, leading her to fall and further scare the uneasy horses.

Green’s horse, Sgt. Dusty, caught his back leg on Green’s knee as he tried to run off with the others. While 11-year-old Kiana Thompson of Powder Springs and 8-year-old Jenny Knight of Hiram were able to get off their horses, Kiana’s 9-year-old sister, Alyssa, was still atop her runaway horse.

“I didn’t care how much pain I was feeling,” Green said of her injured knee, which swelled as ants crawled up her legs while she was lying on the muddy ground. “I wanted to know the kids were OK.”

Green dialed 911 and told the two girls to find Alyssa. Between tears, the girls located Alyssa, who was able to get all the horses under control and round them up back to where Green lay as first responders made it to the remote scene about 45 minutes later.

Almost a week later, Green said she didn’t break any bones and is slowly healing from the injury. The girls are also doing well, as they are back at Dusty’s Haven for horse camp all week.

To thank first responders for their teamwork in the rescue, Green said she plans to have a barbecue at her 6-acre farm on June 22 for everyone who helped. She said she’s tried to contact many of the agencies who responded to the scene Sunday, including EMTs, police, firefighters and park rangers.

“I had the best team come after me,” she said. “I think they need this kind of recognition because more people complain than (give them) recognition.”

Chief Ranger Anthony Winegar said he spoke with his employee who was at the scene, who told him he was humbled by Green’s thanks, but that it was just another day’s work.

“We work hand-in-hand here at the park with the police department, fire department, Sheriff’s Office and other first responders,” Winegar said. “While I won’t lie, it’s nice to pat ourselves on the back from time to time, at the end of the day, it was another one that was successful.”

Winegar said Kennesaw National Battlefield Park is one of the only places left in metro Atlanta that allows and encourages horseback riding, with its 17 miles of trails almost entirely open to horses.

Of course, the horses can have minds of their own and accidents can happen far from main roads, he said.

“We have trained for this in the past, along with Marietta Police and Cobb Fire (Department), and we’re going to do it again this year,” Winegar said. “The park rangers are on the 911 system and have access to all frequencies. It’s just a matter of speaking a language that everyone understands in a place that doesn’t have mile markers and addresses.”

Brave young riders

Green also commended her students for keeping level heads to aid in a quick response.

“The fact is, they wouldn’t have been on the trail if they didn’t know how to ride,” Green said. “They were so helpful in pointing the way for the first responders.”

Alyssa and Jenny, both active in the Cobb 4-H Horse and Pony Club, were recognized at the club’s Monday night meeting for their efforts.

Green said the accident won’t prevent her from hitting the trails again.

“As soon as my leg heals up,” she said when asked when she would head back to the park. “I love my horses. There’s nothing like it, getting up close with a horse. When you’re having a down day, it’s the best kind of therapy I know.”
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Laura Thompson
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June 17, 2013
I would like to educate the few making rude and nasty comments here about Ann and her horses. First, I am the mother of Kiana and Alyssa. All three girls are experienced riders. Ann will only take experienced riders onto trails. My children have ridden the horses in the rain on the same trails before without incident. In order for the horses to run like that, something more than the rain spooked them.

Ann does not make money from her horses. She provides horses with a forever home and assists others in rescuing horses. No money ever exchanged hands. In fact the trail ride was an expense to Ann, before the accident. This trail ride was a reward from Ann to the girls for help they provided with the horses earlier in the week.

People fail to realize that individuals who enjoy animals and nature do not feel the need to have the latest technology. It saddens me that her effort to thank the first responders has turned into individuals assuming money was involved. I could point this so many ways, however I am not that type of person.

Again, I would like to thank the first responders, including the police, EMTS, park officials, and the individuals walking/jogging who stopped to assist. Everyone is safe and the girls have ridden since the accident.
Caran Kuphal
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June 17, 2013
Ann is my sister & I couldn't have said it better. I thank you for supporting her because her heart for people always has been her priority and maybe she is foolish in some people eyes for not doing it for the money but this woman doesn't need the money because she has God & He takes care of her needs.
Ann Green
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June 17, 2013
For your information: Before you judge someone, know what you are talking about? First of all, I share our horses without charging any fees. It's all free for the ones who wish to learn.

Secondly, I have taken children on rainy day rides before with NO mishaps. Are any of you even educated about horses? If not, please do not judge me.

Yes, I offer children the chance to learn about horses and ride to boost their self esteem and to enable them to be around them as I did not have this opportunity when I was young.

This was an accident, plain and simple. Whenever we are around a horse, things can happen. I'm sorry you think I make a living out of charging for my time and lessons. No truth in it as any of my students can tell you.

The children on the ride are very much experienced with handling their horses or I would NOT have taken them with me. This was not their first time riding the trails.

As for me having a riding stables? No such thing.

We do not have a riding stable. Not just anyone can ride here. I offer a program where kids can learn to ride, earn their own way to boost their self esteem and learn the value of the dollar. They help around the barn from helping to feed to washing out buckets to mucking stalls.

I must ask, what do you provide for children to learn some positive life lessons to benefit their whole life?
Be Careful
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June 14, 2013
I'm glad everything turned out OK.

But I have to ask, has she never heard of checking the weather forecast?

Does she not have a smart phone with a weather app on it so she can check radar?

Seems like if you make your living with animals, and taking kids on rides, you should be able to know if bad weather is approaching.
how much
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June 14, 2013
So how much did it cost us for her to still make her horse ride fees that day despite the stormy weather forecast? Shouldn't her license be looked at?
a mother
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June 17, 2013
Ms. Green is an exceptional person and does so much for others, much more than most people that I run across. There were no ride fees charged on that trail ride, or any trail ride. The riding is done solely at the expense of Ms. Green, herself. I cannot tell you how she has enriched the life of my child through her giving heart. As a matter of the weather, it was sprinkling, and there was no cause for concern about trail riding that day. Please be kind to others.
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