Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc.

Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc. strives to offer a meaningful experience that will enhance wellness, build life skills and bring great joy and self-esteem to children, adults and families with physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional or socioeconomic special needs. We do this by providing funding for equine (horse)/animal assisted activities, agricultural and environmental learning opportunities, and the development of innovative, beneficial projects. We believe that in fostering the wellness and independence that develops through the beneficial relationships between people, animals and the environment we can make a positive impact on our community and...
Mar 31, 2014

Spring Update!

Goodbye Winter!
Goodbye Winter!

It has been a long, cold, winter. Did I mention cold? How about long? The words Polar Vortex are two that I hope I can erase from my memory after writing you all this report!

All joking aside, it was a difficult winter for the horses, for families, for everyone. The extended cold took a toll of the resources that many of our families have so little of. And our feeding of hay was nearly doubled, putting a serious strain on our budget as well. But, the sun is shining now, and soon the flowers will begin to bloom, the birds will return to nest and all will be right with the world. And we will be ready to start our programming without worry because you helped us this winter during our Drive To Ride Campaign!

What's Happening On The Farm

  • Next week, 20 students will begin a new challenge. They will begin an intensive training that includes rider fitness, horse health and care, and of course...riding. They will commit to ten weeks of hard work with the goal of competing on July 5th, 2014 at the Chemung County Fairgrounds during the Second Chance Thoroughbreds Jubilee Horseshow. Your support is making this possible and we cannot wait for you to see the pictures!
  • This year we will also be launching our Excelsior Veterans Program, which will provide riding, learning and support opportunities for Veterans and their families. We are proud to be part of the Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program, and look forward to serving our brave returning servicemen and women, and their families. A generous donation from the Millward family has allowed us to begin these programs in 2014.
  • Our gardens will continue to grow and mature. This year we will be installing topiary of horses and wildlife that will inspire imagination and provide an atmosphere of soothing reflection. The Horse Garden will be planted with beneficial and medicinal herbs just for them, and the remaining gardens will be planted with vegetables and herbs that can be sold at our local farmers market by our students to support their programming.
  • We have created Service Learning opportunities to fulfill our remaining sponsorships for 2014. The teens who are selected will be spending 2-3 days each week here on the farm. They will be responsible for a horse of their choosing, and will care for, groom, exercise and assist with veterinary and farrier appointments for their horse for an entire year. They will also be helping care for the remaining horses, assisting during sessions, and have the opportunity to show their horse locally. We know how important and beneficial the equestrian life can be for teens, and we felt that combining all phases of horsemanship, along with weekly riding lessons, was an opportunity that the majority of youth at risk will never have the chance to experience. We are thrilled to have selected two girls already, and will have room for two more! This is truly a Girl Power program and we are so excited to get started!

That's about all there is for now. Our other programs will be starting once the weather warms a bit more!

Thank you for all of your support, our donors and monthly sponsors truly make this program all that it can be. Without you, we couldn't offer these new and beneficial programs for children and adults. You are the force behind us, and we are so grateful to each and every one of you!

Thank you!!!

Colleen Cheechalk

Nov 25, 2013

Wishing you a blessed holiday season!

Horse show
Horse show

Seasons Greetings!

Snow is falling, and the summer props, toys and games have been packed away. The horses are enjoying a break from the daily hustle and bustle of activity and the volunteer staff is relaxing a bit with family and friends.

Sounds peaceful and quiet right?!?

It is, but underneath all the peace and quiet is a flurry of activity as we prepare for our Holiday Gala on December 7th at the beautiful Endicott Visitors Center and Museum, and as we make the plans for our upcoming program year.

Here's how we finished the year

  • We finished our season with a bang! Many of our riding students came to the farm on October 12th to show off to their riding skills. Trooper and Cisco were AMAZING! From simple patterns, a little walk and trot and even showmanship, our horses and students proudly showed the results of all those hours of hard work and dedication! We are all so very, very proud! Click here to see some photos from the event!
  • We began our pilot program Equine Facilitated Breast Cancer Rehabilitation and will be offering sessions to 8-10 women in 2014
  • We began the Excelsior Thoroughbred Advancement Program which will facilitate the rescue or rehabilitation of a retiring Thoroughbred racehorse and retraining for placement in therapeutic programming.
  • Borrowed Freedom was featured on the front page of the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin in Anothony Borrelli's wonderful news piece that showcased our work. You can read the full article on our website
  • We welcomed Cisco, a WONDERFUL registered Quarter Horse to our program and he quickly has become a favorite of everyone, from students to staff!
  • We welcomed Veda Tupy as an instructor. Veda is the former head coach of the Binghamton University Equestrian Team, and is an accomplished professional competitor and trainer. We will now be able to offer riding lessons year round in her covered arena. Our students also have the opportunity to compete locally and to participate in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association.

In all, I would say this year was a wonderful success. Unfortunately we didn't achieve our goal of $15000 through our Global Giving campaign, but we still were able to provide a wonderful year full of opportunities to for some incredibly special people.

We will be launching several small microprojects in the upcoming months and we hope that you will continue to support our efforts as we ring in the new year!

Wishing you all a holiday season full of the best and brightest, and all the love and peace in the world!

Sincerely,
Colleen Cheechalk and the Borrowed Freedom Team!

Welcome Cisco!
Welcome Cisco!
Press and Sun-Bulletin Feature
Press and Sun-Bulletin Feature

Links:

Aug 6, 2013

What a great summer for Borrowed Freedom!

Humans and Horses Working Together!
Humans and Horses Working Together!

Good day everyone!
First I would like to apologize for the delay in getting this report out to you. We had a series of family emergencies that took me away from home and work. Thankfully all is getting back to normal now!
Wow...I'm not sure where to start!

Thanks to your continued support and generous sponsorships from the Jensen Family, Northside Collision and Nimmonsburg Rotary we have reached $3600 for scholarship funds, we still have a long way to go but I am very confident that we will reach our goal and possibly even surpass it. The need is as great as ever, and we are so blessed to have supporters who believe in what we do and help us ensure that every need is met.
But that's not all!

Things have been in a constant state of change and improvement here on the farm this spring as well, we have new Red Brand No Climb horse fence for the pony paddocks, which allowed us to expand their living quarters and add new grazing areas for them. After learning how much we love this fence, we reached out Cooperative Feed Dealers and Red Brand for our large horse paddocks and we were completely overwhelmed when they donated fencing to surround our entire horse area! Now we will have safe, secure, permanent fencing that will improve the interactions our visitors can have with the horses all around the farm. It was just an incredible gift!

Our friends at Mane n' Tail have generously sponsored our horses grooming needs for the year. They sent us enough Shine On and Detangler to keep our crew looking and feeling their best all year long. For those of you who have visited the farm, you know that the condition of the horses is very, very important to us. We go to great lengths to ensure that they always look and feel amazing. Riding horses is a magical experience...and mud, dull coats and tangled manes are not exactly magical. We are so grateful to Mane n' Tail for their support!

We have the Charlotte's Web Garden planted now, it surrounds the classroom area and is filled with beautiful herbs, grasses and perennials that attract pollinators, good bugs, birds and even the bunnies. It is named in memory of my Aunt Charlotte Sherman who passed away in October of 2012. She loved to garden. loved children, and had an incredible giving spirit. She wrote a column for her beloved Whitney Point Reporter called "Charlotte's Web", and she reported on all the good things that happened in our little community. I knew that it would make her heart smile to know that the garden was named in her memory.

The arena has now been expanded and has a new sand surface, post and rail fence with welded wire, and some very cool features that make our lessons and sessions more fun. There is a heavy duty perimeter rope that allows us to hang themed posters and learning tools, we have freshly painted barrels, poles and cones, some neat primary color balls, baskets and such, and a whole summer of great lessons planned. New run-in's for the horses are in planning stage right now as well.

Never a dull moment here on the farm!

In April, Jessica, Darlene and I all attended the American Hippotherapy Association Level I Equine Skills and Level I Treatment Principles, and I have earned an advanced certification from the American Council on Exercise as a Therapeutic Exercise Specialist. We are also proud to announce that we will host Greg Kersten in April 2014 for the OK Corral Series Green Certification for our many of our team members. Greg Kersten was the founder of EAGALA and the pioneer in the field of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to learn hands on from such an innovator in this field. We have also began our pilot Breast Cancer Rehabilitation program, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to serve women in need in our community. Breast Cancer has touched our family, and the families of many of our staff. We felt it was vital to add this needed alternative method of wellness.

Last but not least, we will be welcoming Cisco to our farm this month! He is a beautiful 18 year old Quarter Horse with a kind, sweet personality and a wonderful work ethic. He is a seasoned school horse that I had the opportunity to work with during the AHA clinic and I was so impressed with him! I know everyone will love him as much as we do!
Thank you so much for your support of programming, we are working hard to deliver the best possible program for the individuals that we serve and we hope that you will continue to follow us on our adventures! We cannot seem to upload photos to this report today, we have tried several times and can't get them in. So for the day to day fun that goes on, please feel free to visit our Facebook page at http://facebook.com/borrowedfreedom or our website at http://borrowedfreedom.org

On behalf of the entire Borrowed Freedom team...THANK YOU!



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