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Peace in the barns: Southern West Virginia family finds comfort at Ken and Kelly Adkins’ Sweetwood Hollow Farm


The Register-Herald

George Richmond and his daughter Abby feed carrots to 30-year-old Dude. George visits the barns almost every day and says the horses have helped him deal with severe anxiety.
(Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero)

SCARBRO, W.Va. — “My horse, every time I walk in the barn he usually starts his motor because he knows I’m going to give him treats or hay,” says 8-year-old Abby Richmond as she looks lovingly at Dude, a bright red sorrel quarter horse. Dude isn’t technically Abby’s horse. He belongs to Ken and Kelly Adkins and lives among the other horses at their Sweetwood Hollow Farm in Scarbro. But Dude is a little different than the horses trained by Ken Adkins Quarter Horses.

Dude is 30.

Ken and Kelly purchased Dude when he was 4, but he had lived elsewhere as a companion horse for 10 years until November 2017, when he returned to Scarbro. Back at Sweetwood Hollow Farm, however, Ken and Kelly say he just didn’t look good.

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