It all started with not knowing what to get someone for a birthday present. Doesn’t that always seem to be a problem?
Shannon Miranda, a part-time Marketing Intern at United Performance Metals, and daughter of Ray Miranda, UPM’s Nickel and Specialty Product Manager, didn’t know what to get her younger sister, Natalie, for her birthday. Diverting to the gift-card option seemed to be her best bet, but she wanted it to be something different—not just your normal shopping trip to someone’s favorite store in the mall.
Shannon decided to buy Natalie a gift certificate to take riding lessons at Winton Woods. She had no idea what a long-term impact this gift would bring. Four years later, Ray and Natalie have two horses, Babe and Dakota. The horses are treated like family: fed and groomed every day, talked to, hugged, and given presents on Christmas. (They even have their own Facebook pages under Babey Miranda and Dakota Miranda.)
"Having horses isn't like having any other pets; they are like family,” says Natalie. “My horse, Dakota, is the love of my life. He has taught me things beyond my imagination, and I dream about the amazing experiences to come with him."
Her father, Ray agrees. “They are beautiful animals who are very loyal, faithful, and smart. “
Natalie is currently taking riding lesson from Brooke Vaughn, a rodeo barrel racer. Natalie one day hopes to follow in Brooke’s footsteps and barrel race with Dakota.
Posted July 31, 2012
Return to Blog