Provide Equine Therapies For 100 Children In Need

$6,855 $0
Raised Remaining

It was an exciting day here at Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities on Monday, January 30, 2012. We placed our order with the Lovato's at Equisense, Inc. for our Equicizer! At $3274, it is the largest item in our budget for the project. We are hopeful that it will be delivered in time for one of our largest community events...Farm Days at the Oakdale Mall in mid March.

The Equicizer is an incredible piece of equipment that will change and enhance our programming in many ways. One of the most significant is that we will no longer be weather dependent and can now continue our vital services, including hippotherapy, all year round. Here are some of the other ways we will use the Equicizer in our programming:

  • Every potential hippotherapy and therapeutic riding student will be evaluated with the Equicizer before beginning mounted sessions. We will be able to more accurately assess student abilities and select the appropriate horse.
  • We will be able to start therapeutic riding students with sessions on the Equicizer, and then move to mounted work on a horse when their comprehension of the tasks and ability to safely mount and dismount is demonstrated. This is especially beneficial in our work with children with Autism.
  • We can train our volunteers more effectively. They will have the opportunity to practice safe mounting and dismounting of students, to practice the lesson activities together as a team and learn from each other.
  • The Equicizer allows us to serve students who weigh up to 300 pounds, and those who may have difficulty mounting or dismounting a full sized horse safely.
  • The Equicizer is a wonderful teaching tool that we can take with us to events and demonstrations. Especially events that are difficult to bring a full sized horse to, or those that might be too stressful for a live animal.
  • The Equicizer will be instrumental in our programming for Seniors!
  • The Equicizer does not require Veterinary care, feed and hay or a manure fork! We will be able to change and improve the lives of more than 125 individuals each year, at no charge, effectively serving more than 625 people over 5 years and saving the organization nearly $40,000 in horse related costs.

Because of your support, we will be one of eight programs in all of New York State that is able to offer their clients access to an Equicizer for their therapeutic needs. The remaining funds raised during our project will be used to complete construction of our therapy room where the Equicizer will reside. We are beginning construction on the therapy room in the next two weeks so it will be ready when the Equicizer arrives. The room will be located in our main barn just a few feet from the parking area. It will be fully handicapped accessible, as is the entire property. Our office will move to the therapy room when it is complete, and it will also serve as a private consultation area for clients and therapists to work. The location is also just a few feet from the Pony Paddock, so visitors will still have an opportunity to interact with the horses during their Equicizer sessions.

We will be hosting a dedication event at the farm on Saturday, May 5, 2012 from 4-7pm, during the events leading to the running of the 138th Kentucky Derby. We welcome our students, volunteers and project sponsors to join us as we celebrate this exciting moment in our program's history. Please RSVP to Colleen at 607-658-3298 or email her at if you will joining us. We hope to see you at the ribbon cutting!

From all of us at Borrowed Freedom, our most sincere thanks for your incredible generosity. This moment is just as much your as it is ours, because you helped make it happen! If you would like to learn more about the Equicizer and see it in action, here is a wonderful video by Equisense, Inc. Enjoy!



Colleen Cheechalk
Borrowed Freedom Founder and Program Director 


On behalf of the volunteers, families, and the animals of Borrowed Freedom...thank you. Thank you SO much for your generous support of our project! Because of you, we have secured our place on and will benefit from an expanded network for this and future projects. We never dreamed this would be possible for a small non-profit like ours, but you made it possible!

Because we have exceeded the amount needed to begin the improvements to the new therapy room and office, we will break ground on the building phase of the project February 1st, 2012. We hope the building will be completed by the start of our Spring Session in April. The Therapy Room will be a light, bright and functional space complete with walls of energy efficient windows, oversized skylight and large handicapped accessible french doors that allow easy access and will help capture cool breezes in the summer months. The windows, skylight and labor are being donated to the project. A giant, century old Maple shades the barn and provides a ceiling of green through the skylight, and a wildflower garden will be planted outside the wall of windows for our students to gaze up at as they ride the Equicizer. The location of the therapy room is directly past Firefly and Rye's paddock, so clients will still enjoy and interact with the horses. 

The therapy room will also feature a small office for our volunteer staff to conduct interviews, hold our Board meetings and trainings, and give our volunteer therapists a private, peaceful place to consult with clients. 

The Equicizer will allow us to serve our clients during periods of severe weather and also let clients who might not be able to safely mount or dismount from a horse the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from the simulated equine movement the Equicizer provides. The Equicizer will have his or her own stall in the therapy room and will be treated as a member of our team. 

We still have approximately $900 to raise to fully fund the building costs and the cost of the Equicizer, and we are optimistic that we will be able to select and order our horse by the start of the Fall Session in September. 

We are all just overjoyed that this very worthwile project is about to leap forward. We couldn't have done it without your help! Look forward to an update when we break ground in February!

With our most sincere gratitude,

Colleen Cheechalk
Program Director 


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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
Vestal, New York United States

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