Fall is gradually leaving us, as the days become increasingly blustery and our remaining kittens (available for adoption!) chase leaves on the deck. The horses are growing more and more furry, building up their winter coats and enjoying as much grass as possible before the winter freeze. We’re collecting the garden’s final harvests - kale, pumpkins, the last tomatoes - and putting it to bed. While we appreciate the rest and planning time that winter brings, we always feel a little sad about summer’s end. But we have plenty of organizational work to keep us busy through the winter, and we’re excited about our recent changes, as well as those to come.
It was an exciting summer here on the farm. Despite the fact that our ISD students did not attend due to covid-19 (they're currently planning to return next spring) we served 51 clients, most of them new. With the help of Manistee County Habitat for Humanity, we got our beautiful replacement arena ramp and mounting area built. Thanks to terrific support from the Manistee community, we’ve raised the money for a power lift, and are close to having the funds we need for our wheelchair accessible golf cart!
In addition, we just launched our Adopt A Horse fundraising campaign, (check it out here!) which is designed to help us meet our annual operations and equine maintenance costs, particularly through the winter. If you like what we do, consider “adopting” one of our horses or ponies!
Another exciting change just arrived. We have a new horse! We have been watching for possible additions to our herd for some time, because like most equine learning organizations, we typically work with older horses who can age beyond the ability to manage riders. It’s been several years since we obtained Belle, our most recent acquisition, and now most of our horses are in their twenties. That’s the equivalent of a human’s seventies or eighties, so we have been seeking a few younger equines that have the right disposition to serve as therapeutic “assistants,”
Enter a rescuing angel, bearing a gift. “Montana,” our new gelding, is a 13-year-old blue roan, 16.3 hands (the “hand” is the measurement used for horses, and one hand equals about four inches) of beautiful, good-natured equine. Rescued from Texas, he is currently adjusting to life with the herd, and so far he seems to get along well with everybody. Large, sturdy, and young enough to handle adult riders, Montana has a background as a cattle horse, and that combined with his calm disposition should make him a great asset to the farm. He too will be up for “adoption” shortly!
Last, we plan to begin an electronic newsletter soon. We expect the first edition to arrive in mid to late December, and it will appear on a quarterly basis. In it we’ll be able to provide updates on our activities, articles about equine therapies of various sorts, information regarding our fundraising efforts, and more. (serialized stories? Photos? Maybe even poetry! What would YOU like to see?) If you’d like to receive our newsletter and you haven’t worked with us or visited, send your name, address, and email to us at email@example.com, and we’ll add you to our mailing list. In the meantime, we wish you a warm and cozy winter!