Bring Healing To Horses And Humans In Need

 
$2,004
$0
Raised
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Thank you from all of us at Borrowed Freedom!
Thank you from all of us at Borrowed Freedom!

Holiday New Year from the Borrowed Freedom program!

It's hard to believe that 2015 is here, and we finished the year on globalgiving.org raising more than $4000! We are so very, very grateful to you all. 

With the new year here, and this project fully funded for the scholarships awarded in 2014, it is time to retire it and begin our work for 2015. We are so hopeful that we will be able to reach our goal and serve 10 children this year! 

There has been a lot of good done in 2014, including the official launches of two of our most important programs to date, the HOPE on Horseback program, and the Willis Ashley Foley, Jr. Warriors and War Horses program for Veterans and their families. Both these new programs have current microprojects on Globalgiving.org, so if you visit our profile you can receive more information, and of course, we appreciate your shares, Facebook “likes” and more.

We finished off the year
serving 32 individuals with 26 weeks of programming. It was a challenging year for our organization, and like most, we saw a dramatic decrease in our funding. But we remained true to our commitment to serve and were able to do some truly wonderful things, and in the end, that's the true measure of an organizations success! And serving 30+ individuals with full scholarships is something we are very proud of!

To make dollars stretch further, our host farm, Epona Farm Sanctuary, has obtained their 501c3 non-profit status. Epona Farm Sanctuary has provided scholarship based services including Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding for the Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies program since 2008. Our partnership was the first in the Southern Tier of NY to offer a comprehensive Equine Assisted Learning and Mental Health program in 2009, and continues to be the largest provider of these vital, life changing services. Together we created and facilitate HOPE on Horseback, the Willis Ashely Foley Jr. Warriors and War Horses program for Veterans, and the Excelsior Thoroughbred Advancement Program. Borrowed Freedom is now able to narrow its focus and mission to supporting those with demonstrated need, and providing the funding for them to receive the services they need at Epona Farm. Epona Farm Sanctuary Foundation, Inc. will focus their mission on providing the outstanding care they always have to horses who have found themselves in need of rescue due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, and displacement. And to providing an environment that is carefully tended to provide stimulation for all the senses, and immersion into the natural world, which is the premise to all of our programming. We look forward to achieving great things together for the community in 2015, and beyond.

On a personal note, Allyson Cheechalk, who has been by my side since 2008 as my biggest supporter, my “voice of reason”, and the best Assistant Instructor (and daughter) a person could ask for, achieved something momentous, The Presidents Call To Service Award. The President's Call to Service Award is awarded by the President of the United States to people who have completed more than 4,000 hours of community service. It is the highest level of the President's Volunteer Service Award and signifies a lifetime achievement. Since 2007 she given nearly 7,000 hours of service to her community. We are so very proud of her, and so thrilled that she has agreed to not only remain supporting Borrowed Freedom in its endevours, but also taking charge of the newly formed Epona Farm Sanctuary Foundation as its President and Executive Director. Allyson will graduate next year with her BA in Psychology with a double minor in Sociology and Terrorism Studies. She will begin her MPA with a focus on Organizational Management in the fall of 2015.

So it has been a whirlwind this year, and we have seen some powerful and awesome work done on the farm in 2014. As we retire this project for the year, I find myself looking back on all the memories made, happiness, personal triumphs, and goals met. Each year I say “WOW! This was the BEST YEAR YET!” and I am saying it again this year too! But I know in my heart that it is one in a pattern of best years, one that will help lay the foundation for 2015 to be the best, and for the years that will follow. This was also the best year yet because so many have chosen to continue the journey with us, while we welcomed so many new friends and supporters too. Building an organization is hard, but it is easier when you know you are built from a solid foundation of support.

We cannot thank you enough for being their for our clients in 2014!

 

Sincerely,

Colleen Cheechalk

Executive Director and Founder

Links:

Winning ribbons at the Chemug County Fair!
Winning ribbons at the Chemug County Fair!

Holiday Greetings from the Borrowed Freedom program!

It's hard to believe that another year is quickly coming to an end, and that it has been three years for us here on globalgiving.org too! We began our journey during the Winter Open Challenge in 2011, and while it looked pretty bleak for a while (I think there were two or three days when I didn't sleep! HA!), we finished up strong and reached our goals of more than 5,000 and more than 40 donors. I remember after that challenge I though to myself “whew! That was a wild ride! There is NO WAY we could EVER do that again!”. Well, look at us now, three years later, with some of our original supporters still along with us for that ride. We are so very, very grateful to you all.

There has been a lot of good done this year, including the official launches of two of our most important programs to date, the HOPE on Horseback program, and the Willis Ashley Foley, Jr. Warriors and War Horses program for Veterans and their families. Both these new programs have current microprojects on Globalgiving.org, so if you visit our profile you can receive more information, and of course, we appreciate your shares, Facebook “likes” and more.

We also welcomed a new team member! Her name is Indigo Sky “Harper”, and she is just a gem of a horse. Allyson purchased her last November after falling in love with her. She had no plans of bringing her into the program, but once we saw how she interacted with the children and families...well...let's just say that she was certainly born for this work! She will be completing her training this winter while the program sleeps so she can be ready to start once the program begins again in the spring.

We finished off the year serving 32 individuals with 26 weeks of programming. It was a challenging year for our organization, and like most, we saw a dramatic decrease in our funding. But we remained true to our commitment to serve and were able to do some truly wonderful things, and in the end, that's the true measure of an organizations success! And serving 30+ individuals with full scholarships is something we are very proud of!

To make dollars stretch further, our host farm, Epona Farm Sanctuary, has obtained their 501c3 non-profit status. Epona Farm Sanctuary has provided scholarship based services including Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding for the Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies program since 2008. Our partnership was the first in the Southern Tier of NY to offer a comprehensive Equine Assisted Learning and Mental Health program in 2009, and continues to be the largest provider of these vital, life changing services. Together we created and facilitate HOPE on Horseback, the Willis Ashely Foley Jr. Warriors and War Horses program for Veterans, and the Excelsior Thoroughbred Advancement Program. Borrowed Freedom is now able to narrow its focus and mission to supporting those with demonstrated need, and providing the funding for them to receive the services they need at Epona Farm. Epona Farm Sanctuary Foundation, Inc. will focus their mission on providing the outstanding care they always have to horses who have found themselves in need of rescue due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, and displacement. And to providing an environment that is carefully tended to provide stimulation for all the senses, and immersion into the natural world, which is the premise to all of our programming. We look forward to achieving great things together for the community in 2015, and beyond.

On a personal note, Allyson Cheechalk, who has been by my side since 2008 as my biggest supporter, my “voice of reason”, and the best Assistant Instructor (and daughter) a person could ask for, achieved something momentous, The Presidents Call To Service Award. The President's Call to Service Award is awarded by the President of the United States to people who have completed more than 4,000 hours of community service. It is the highest level of the President's Volunteer Service Award and signifies a lifetime achievement. Since 2007 she given nearly 7,000 hours of service to her community. We are so very proud of her, and so thrilled that she has agreed to not only remain supporting Borrowed Freedom in its endevours, but also taking charge of the newly formed Epona Farm Sanctuary Foundation as its President and Executive Director. Allyson will graduate next year with her BA in Psychology with a double minor in Sociology and Terrorism Studies. She will begin her MPA with a focus on Organizational Management in the fall of 2015.

So it has been a whirlwind this year, and we have seen some powerful and awesome work done on the farm in 2014. Each year I say “WOW! This was the BEST YEAR YET!” and I am saying it again this year too! But I know in my heart that it is one in a pattern of best years, one that will help lay the foundation for 2015 to be the best, and for the years that will follow. This was also the best year yet because so many have chosen to continue the journey with us, while we welcomed so many new friends and supporters too. Building an organization is hard, but it is easier when you know you are built from a solid foundation of support. We cannot thank you enough for being their for our clients in 2014!

May your holidays be filled with love, hope, and peace and my you New Year be the brightest and most beautiful ever.

Sincerely,
Colleen Cheechalk

Executive Director and Founder

Pre-ride pep talk!
Pre-ride pep talk!
Having some fun on the Equicizer, "Dumplin"
Having some fun on the Equicizer, "Dumplin"
Working on our balance in the fall sunshine
Working on our balance in the fall sunshine

Links:

Loving the horse!
Loving the horse!

Welcome Fall!

I have to admit that I am sorry to see this summer end. Weather wise, it was one of the most beautiful summers that we have had in ages. I had to postpone lessons just once, just ONCE for extreme heat and humidity, and that was in September! Ha!

So much has happened this summer, and we are in the final stretch toward the end of the year and season here on the farm. We launched two new programs this summer, our Willis Ashley Foley, Jr. Warriors and War Horses Program, and our HOPE on Horseback Program. The arena at Epona Farm is being expanded, and we have the go ahead to begin a large scale horticulture therapy and farm stand program for the spring! We had a whole lot of riding and adventures in there too!

I think I mentioned in our last report that Ally and I attended the OK Corral Series Equine Assisted Learning and Psychotherapy certification in April. We knew we wanted to bring this expanded knowledge to our experiences and training in Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Exercise. When we sat and analyzed our current programs and the needs of the community, we have found that adults are often the last people to seek out equine related services for themselves. So I would like to take a moment to tell you about our two newest programs, and what we hope to accomplish.

The Willis Ashley Foley, Jr. Warriors and War Horses Program

With our Veteran's in desperate need of services that help them reintegrate into civilian life, and to help battle the effects of PTSD and the many other physical and emotional needs they may have, we felt it was imperative to open our program to them. Through a series of ground and mounted work, we will work with Veterans and their families in private and group based sessions that include therapeutic exercise, mind-body work, and equine assisted learning and psychotherapy techniques. These carefully designed sessions help Veterans and their families find their inner power and peace, build self-esteem, battle the effects of depression, improve health and wellness, improve functioning for those with physical special needs, and treat the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

We named our program in memory of Willis Foley, who was a Veteran and wonderful horseman. Willis and Karin Foley have been generous supporters of our program since its humble beginnings and have lent their expertise, friendship, financial support and even donated the beautiful Labradors we have from their Blind Squirrel Labradors program. Willis was killed in a tragic accident in June, and the horse community, and the world, lost a great man. We were honored when Karin said yes to our request to name this program in his honor.

HOPE on Horseback

The HOPE on Horseback program for women had been developed to help women in their recovery and fight with breast cancer, yet, in our pilot of the program, we found it was exceptionally beneficial for women rebuilding their lives after domestic abuse, trauma or addictions as well. This program pairs the majestic horse with the powerful female spirit, and we proceed through a series of peaceful, centering, healing exercises that help bring restorative energy to the body and the soul. Our sessions provide numerous benefits including re-sensitization to touch, activation of the vagus nerve to address digestive, respiratory and circulatory issues, increased mind-body awareness and harmony through meditation, breath work and creative imagery and music, but most of all, HOPE for peace, HOPE for awareness and a stronger sense of self.  Sessions are conducted at the Epona Farm Sanctuary by Ally and I, and our trained EFL/EFP Wellness team, clients are surrounded by privacy and the beauty of nature, gardens and music. A gentle and caring team of women will provide support, caring and compassion to women in need. Women helping women, women creating hope.

These two programs will help us reach adults with need, and offer them these life changing opportunities at no charge. We will continue to offer Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy for children, and EFL/EFP for children and adults, but we feel strongly that it is time for us to open our doors to adults with these need based programs.

The Excelsior Thoroughbred Advancement Program

The Thoroughbreds will be partnered with Veterans who are part of our Willis Ashley Foley Jr. Warriors And War Horses program and the HOPE on Horseback program. They will also work with teens at risk of failing in the traditional school setting, and adults recovering from addictions or transitioning to life outside of an institutional setting. The Thoroughbreds we bring into the program will receive comprehensive professional training for a discipline that suits them, such as Dressage, Hunters and Jumpers or Cross Country. When training is complete, the horses will be adopted into fully vetted, approved homes with preference given to therapeutic environments. Our first two sponsored Thoroughbreds Sandy and Leon, helped us fine tune our program and best determine where and how to integrate specific clients and groups. Sandy was adopted to a wonderful family, and Leon has continued his training at SCT and is available through SCT for adoption.

We hope to continue to build support for it this year and next, and begin our next retraining projects in 2015.

Upcoming events!

Our young riders are all preparing for their student horse show on 10/25, we have our annual BBQ on 10/18, and our wine tasting event on 12/6. In November we will also have a huge online auction hosted by Karin Foley and Peggy Ingles. As always, it is quickly becoming the busiest time of the year on the farm! We hope that you will join us for any or all of these events if you able, we would love to meet you in person and show you our work!

Mark your calendars:


BFEAT BBQ – 10/18/2014 at the American Legion on Stella Ireland Rd in Binghamton
BFEAT Student Horse Show – 10/25/2014 at Epona Farm in Endicott, NY
Charity Auction – 11/2014 details coming soon
In Vino Caritas – Charity wine tasting event -12/6/2014 at the Endicott Visitor Center and Museum

Thank you all for your continued support for this program. We appreciate you and all that you do for our clients, horses and our community. You are directly responsible for our many successes and we want to tell you that we truly celebrate YOU every time we celebrate the successful conclusion to a productive season.

Best Wishes!

Colleen Cheechalk

Executive Director







 

Enjoying the sunshine
Enjoying the sunshine
Learning about feeds
Learning about feeds
Arena Expansion Begins!
Arena Expansion Begins!
Feeding grass to a Dusty after a great session
Feeding grass to a Dusty after a great session

Greetings everyone! It's finally here, SUMMER! After the longest, coldest, snowiest, darkest winter I can remember...warmth is finally here!

We have had a busy spring. Unfortunately we got a very late start thanks to winter holding on until May. Then rain and cold continued, which pushed us even further behind. But in the end we were rewarded with lovely spring weather and we wereable to get caught up.

This year we welcome back 4 adult groups, and our volunteers from Broome Developmental Center. And we have 12 lesson students actively participating each week. We hoped to do more, but scholarship funds were not available due to our June gala being postponed. Our are is still struggling, so support has been slim. We do our best, but we can only offer so much at no cost...the horses have to eat, and boy do they let us know it!

We have been busy planting gardens and enjoying the days at Epona Farm Sanctuary, and helping children and adults learn about themselves through their partnership with the horse. I had a wonderful interview with Angel Tobey of the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI), and am looking forward to talking with some other groups in the very near future. While times are tight, I know in my heart that our supporters will be behind us as we move forward, I have all the faith in the world that our clients will continue to grow, learn, and become wonderful people of exceptional character. And I have that faith because of YOU and your continued support!

Please be sure to watch our website and facebook pages for updates, photos and more news!

Thank you so much for your continues support!
Colleen Cheechalk and the Borrowed Freedom team

First rides!
First rides!

Links:

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

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Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Project Leader

Colleen Cheechalk

Program Director
Endicott, New York United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Bring Healing To Horses And Humans In Need