Hello to all our supporters,
Sorry we have been slow to send out this report to everyone. Spring has been a busy time for us. If you can take a peak at the photos we shared you will see why. Foaling season is always busy but so much fun! Helping all these young foals into the world to begin their lives as service animals is something all of us cherish. Many of our reports have been about the program, the children we reach, how we need support to be able to offer our ponies to the children and families but I don't think we have ever shared the care and effort it takes to bring one of our service ponies into the world and to become the pocket pony of a small child with special needs.
Personal Ponies maintains it's own breeding program because we believe the UK Shetland is second to none as far as temperament goes and that any pony that could survive the coal mines certainly would be patient enough to allow children or even adults to hang all over it. There is something very ancient in their eyes and something very big in their hearts. We maintain a herd of 20 stallions and about 30 mares to produce offspring that will then be trained and soon to be certified for service. First you have the care of the mares and stallions which we pride ourselves in providing them the best natural healthful diet available. Did you know our breeding stock eats salads, fruits, nuts and herbs everyday? Then in the 11 month gestation period you have to care for our mares ensuring they are happy and well fed. Foaling day comes and we now have the beginning of a new life to care for and training starts that very first moment. All of our foals are carefully imprinted and people often comment they cannot beleive how friendly and calm and sweet they are even at a few days old. This sets them on the path of service. Following thier birth they remain with momma and hopefully a small herd of other aunts to look out for them and teach them about life. At about 6-8 months they leave momma and are weaned. Shortly after weaning we do return them to their herd for a bit until we are ready to prepare them for formal training. All during this first year they are handled and exposed to life so that when it is time for training they are already well balanced individuals. Training begins and takes about two to three years. It is a long but most rewarding process.
We thank each of you for supporting our program. We hope you enjoy these photos and will share iwth others. Feel free to call or write us anytime and come visit!
All the best, Denise Chasin
Dear Friends of Personal Ponies,
For nearly thirty years we have shared our mission with people which has always been to provide a little magic in the lives of children with special needs. Although we have always had that mission, we never defined "how old" a child was nor have we ever defined what "special needs" one has to have to participate in our program. There is a very good reason for that. Persoanl Ponies believes that there is a child in ALL of us and that everyone of us has some special need. And because of that, I am so happy to share with you these photos of our work in communities around the country where we have made a difference in the lives of adults that are differently able. One of our volunteers had a regular visit from an older gentleman who recenlty passed away. Mike had alzheimers but he loved his time with our ponies. Mike even came out into the community for hospital visits to share the ponies with people. As our state director said, "what the mind forgets, the heart remembers"/
The focus of this report is to share with you the depth of what Personal Ponies is about. The pictures attached should be a good representation of our reach beyond the children that are still the heart and soul of our program. Please stayed tuned for a newly developed mission statement that we will share with you to include the greater reach of our program.
Many thanks for your support. Truly your support is what allows us to prepare to celebrate our 30th year in 2016.
All the best,
As the year is coming to a close, we have been spending a lot of time working towards new goals and programs for the coming years. For many years the focus of our program has been on placing ponies in the homes of children with special needs. The other focus has been on volunteer farms all over the country that host a pair of ponies and share them in their communities. Maybe having children come to the farm to interact with the ponies or maybe bringing them to the local nursing home, daycare center, hospice, ....you name it!!
This year and going forward we have created new partnerships around the country with Therpautic Riding Centers , Schools and, soon we hope, a hosptial where our ponies are available to interact with and incorporated into their programs. There are so many benefits to us, the children adn the programs to have this partnership. We will be able to reach more children and have our program enhance the existing therapy programs. The schools love having the ponie part of their everyday life for the children to learn responsibility and care for our poines. And the hospital will really bring a new element to "making magic in the lives of kids with special needs"
We will keep you posted of our developments as we move forward. All of your support is so important to us and will help make these new programs a reality in other areas of the country. Please do share our information with others. Word of mouth is our best marketing tool. Enjoy our new website too!!!
Hello to all our GlobalGiving Supporters,
As I was preparing to create a new report for GlobalGiving, I was reflecting on the past couple of years we have been listed on their website and how grateful we are to have this exposure to so many people we never would have met. Global Giving has really given us another platform to reach people and share our mission and receive support that is so needed for us to continue our program.
This was the fifth year that I, personally, have been the Director of Personal Ponies. What amazes me everyday that i sit here and respond to questions, support our volunteers and plan our future, is how many people there are around the country with big hearts that are dedicated their time, energy and finances to be able to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs. These people are spread out all over the United States and Canada and often our only means of communication is via the internet yet we manage to come together to plan and support each other so we can be there for the children and our ponies.
I don't know if people also realize the breadth of programming we offer free of charge around the country. Each community is free to develop their outreach in ways that support the community so programming varies all over. We have people visiting nursing homes, participating in therapturic riding programs, seeing children one on one, visiting hospitals, grieving programs, having people come to their own farms, visitng shcools, offering reading programs and the list goes on and on.
GlobalGiving has become very important to us on a national level because the funds you all have provided are helping us to create a stronger base at a National level in order to support all of our volunteers as needed. As our program has grown we have needed a stronger National program to be able to market the program, provide accounting and administrative support,and help the volunteers as needed,
THANK EACH OF YOU FOR THINKING OF US AND PLEASE PLEASE SHARE US WITH YOUR FRIENDS. Word of mouth is our most powerful fundraising program!
Much appreciation, Denise
Dear Friends and Supporters of Personal Ponies,
As National Director, I am touched daily by all the support we receive from our communities that allow us to continue what we do best, ---- creating a little magic in the lives of children with special needs. Everyday I sit at my desk and have the honor of communicating with all of our volunteers and donors as well. This gives me a unique perspective on what makes our program successful that I wish I could share with all of you who support us. Imagine if you will pockets of love and caring scattered all over the country that is expressed through the eyes of a small furry UK Shetland pony who has dedicated his/her life to being the companion to a small child with special needs. If you can imagine past that as well and consider the impact these ponies have had on their caretakers (our volunteers) as well. So many people do not realize that our ponies make a big difference in their lives too and as we like to say, "there is a child still in all of us, and certainaly a special need." So although our program is about creating magic in the lives of these young children, I think it is safe to say they create magic in the lives of those taht care for them as well. As Ghandi said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
Personal Ponies wants to take this project report as an opportunity to THANK all of global giving and its supporters for the opportunity to raise additional funds to support our program. The funds we collected from Global Giving ths past quarter went directly into our Mallory Travel fund because it is springtime and when springtime comes it usually means ponies are in motion to get to new families and transporting them is very costly. We have so far moved five ponies from South Dakota to Missouri, one stallion from South Dakota to New York, Several ponies within New York went to new caretakers, a pair of ponies went from South Carolina to Maryland, and several ponies in Idaho went to new caretakers, and poines in Indiana are headed to Florida. That is just a sample of what has taken place the past few weeks as the weather cooperated and our program go in motion.
Thank you all for your continued support and I do hope each and everyone of you have a chance to meet some of our ponies that live near you!
All the best
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