Lightfoot Strong

Lightfoot Horse Farm gone.

Lightfoot Horse Farm strong.

You can’t kill spirit with fire.

You can’t kill little girls love of horses with fire.

And you especially can’t kill a horse woman’s drive to succeed with fire.Her drive to help heal some wounds and bring back joy.

Her drive to do the right thing.

Meet JayaMae Gregory.

Horse trainer, endurance rider and Lightfoot Horse Farm impresario!

JayaMae lost her home and Lightfoot Horse Farm in the devastating Camp Fire in Northern California last November.Luckily JayaMae, her family who was at home at the time and 5 of their 7 horses got out of the firestorm alive.

Jaya labeled the two horses left behind and simply left the gates open.

It was all she could do.

The two horses were found by North Animal Disaster Group a couple days later.

One horse survived and the other recently succumbed to burn injuries on her feet.

RIP Dippin

JayaMae lost her home, horse, farm and a large part of her livelihood.

But being a driven woman that did not stop her.

Stop her from connecting and reigniting the spirit of Lightfoot.

She organized and asked for beautiful day in January….Viola!

Lightfoot Reunion!

Lightfoot StrongThe spirit was left strong by her students.

Some of who lost everything too.

And in this place, if your own house did not burn down you know several friends or family members who’s house did burn down.

The fire affects reverberate through the entire community and state.

The horses know.

The horses have lived through it with us.

The fire burned hot and fast. Some horses got extinguished.  Some got burned.  Some were left and rescued.  All were relocated.

  Horses all over the valley had to breathe the putrid smokey air 24 hours a day for weeks.

Many had to accept unexpected four-legged evacuees’ into their barns and corrals as their humans had done in their homes.

Which is not always easy for a horse.

Lightfoot reunion.

Horses and friends equal happiness.

Just what everyone needs.

JayaMae got these girls back together with the horses who brought them so much joy. They needed joy.  They needed to be together again.

With the horses of course. Getting up on a horse……Gives you confidence.   Just putting on the helmet before you even get up on the horse is cool. It does not matter what color the helmet is.

Or what color the horse or her tack is.What matters is sitting on a horse. And holding the reins.Just being with horses feels good.

The horses feel it too. Caring for a horse breeds character.

No matter how big or small.

That is why JayaMae does what she does. Eventually the time comes to gather up your will and get on that horse that may not have been ridden in a while.

Having support and skill nearby makes all the difference.The horse knows you are rusty.  But horses are understanding…….contrary to popular opinion.   Time comes to listen to the pros. You get back on the horse to learn from whoever may be put in front of you.

The learning never stops. The horses have their eye on the ball.

Do you?It is no secret.

Horses are therapy.

Horses are healers.

Long live the Lightfoot spirit, the students and JayaMae.


Adios Amigos!




6 thoughts on “Lightfoot Strong

  1. I’m so blessed to have met you initially as an Equine Bodywork client, but, fast became so much more. An amazing friend. Your horsemanship, drive and strength deserve so much respect. Keep your chin up, that smile on your face, that radiates from your heart. God Bless. ~ Debra Smith


  2. Dear Jo, how touching your words are… and I can’t refrain tears to fall. I myself love horses, I love northern California, I do remember these lovely country places. I can only imagine the horror everyone proved because of the wildfire. Two years ago, not too far from L.A. during a trip with my daughter, we had to stop on the country road because of fire. It wasn’t that big, but enough terrible to give me an idea of how you feel when the force of Nature struck.
    But I’m sure, looking at JayaMae and her smile, that this woman will get over and rebuild her stable Lightfoot.
    Love for horses is a great feeling, and yes… horses are a great cure and fantastic companions! Thanks for telling us about her, for being there to help and bring some hope!
    Hugs and love from Switzerland :-)claudine


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