Jul 14, 2020

Think BIG and Step UP at BITS ETC

Your support over the past three months kept us afloat.  Since my previous report we have survived two months of complete lockdown, without clients or volunteers on campus.

The horses were maintained by a dedicated group of four key staff persons.  Feeding, exercising, training, and facility maintenence continued, and together with steady Board Members, we put our collective ideas into the pot on how to survive a pandemic.

The continued low infection rates in NH,  allows a phased reopening of our facility which began June first, with many changes in how we do business.  

Volunteers returned, retrained, and now are able to help with horse care,training, and facility maintenance.  

Masks are worn, wash stations are utilized both for hand washing, but also for disinfection of all frequently touched surfaces about the barn, as well as tack and grooming supplies used by each client.

The added time to clean between clients limits the number of lessons we can offer.  This decrease in income due to Covid is very real.  To offset this, a robust fundraising effort continues as we pivot away from traditional fundraising opportunities no longer feasible in this day, to more online and virtual fundraising, as well as general appeals such as this, on GlobalGiving.

But all is not Bleak, and the rainbow that hangs over BITS grows brighter each day!  Because of Covid 19, the summer fairs have been cancelled. Because the summer fairs were cancelled, the horses raised for competitions don't have a job! 

We partnered with Hilltop View Farm to bring their three Belgian drafts to BITS each week.  They trained the Veterans and First Responders how to drive heavy horses, and the participants exercised and kept the horses in training for when the fairs return.

Our program for Veterans and First Responders has officially been expanded to serve frontline Hospital Workers:  MD's, RN's, LPN's, and RT's.  Ride UP and Step UP are now sequential programs offering up to eight hours of horse interactions free of charge to the participants. 

Because we are still here, we are Paying it Forward to those who keep us safe in these perilous times.  Because of this generous community support we are determined to kick Covid, and positioned to come back stronger than ever! 

Unfortunately, I am unable to upload pictures at this time in the GlobalGiving Platform.  Please stay tuned to pictures in the near future.   PM

Mar 16, 2020

Personal letter to previous supporters

From wheelchair to Saddle-Ride UP program for Vets
From wheelchair to Saddle-Ride UP program for Vets

The current Corona Virus emergency can hit us hard.  Please let me share a letter I sent to a  supporter of our Veterans Program.  BITS ETC serves a wide variety of clients, and in order to be here when the virus passes, we need support from many sources:

March 13, 2020

 Mr Fred Cruze

Combat Veteran’s Motorcycle Association

 Dear Mr. Cruze,

I would like to thank you again for your unexpected support in the past for our Veteran’s Programs.  We still offer eight free sessions to vets and family members, and I continue to beat the bushes to support this effort.  I have attached a letter written by a veteran who has participated in our programs over the years. Craig Meriwether sent me this letter when I asked him how he felt about our programs.  He has given me permission to share it with you.

Craig will be returning this year to co-facilitate sessions for veteran’s currently living at Liberty House in Manchester.  I am very excited to host this expanded program however the cost may be much higher than in previous times.  Although we have yet to put our programs on hold due to the corona virus, I fear we will have to close our doors to veterans as well as other customers for perhaps up to two or three months.

I have two employees who I hope to continue to pay, and eleven horses will continue to eat like horses. Most of my funds currently are ear-marked for specific services (i.e. scholarships for individuals), which leaves us in a vulnerable position with potentially no income for a substantial time, and continued bills to support the horses and staff.

 I am reaching out to former supporters in an effort to find new, unrestricted funds to help us weather the current crises.  Please consider BITS ETC for any charitable giving you might have at your disposal.

Thank you for your time in this matter.  I hope you all continue to enjoy good health and are spared ill effects of the pandemic.

 Sincerely,

 Pauline Meridien, Director, BITS ETC

 

Serving clients age 2 to 92
Serving clients age 2 to 92
Tiffany and Pretzel
Tiffany and Pretzel

Links:


Attachments:
Feb 27, 2020

Red Rules!

Red's Resume Picture
Red's Resume Picture

RED RULES—the making of a therapy horse!

“Red”, also known as Redwood Forrest, ( A 17 year old  chestnut Appendix gelding) came to visit BITS ETC on a Saturday this February as he was interested in an open position as a therapy horse. Owned by Jenna and Rob, he was seeking a new position as they were relocating to Italy for a few years with the US Navy. After submitting his application, acing the interview and getting the open position, Red returned home to pack for his new job. He moved in this past Sunday and will begin work  to find out where his best fit is at BITS.

Red has been Rob’s horse for the past year, and as such he would love the opportunity to continue working with veterans and uniformed professionals. Rob easily convinced him of the great rewards to be had when teaching veterans about horses and the delights of horse ownership.

We find horses for our programs through many means, and a ‘free lease’ is one of them.  I’d like to document Red’s progress as we go down the trail together. We know a little bit of his history:

He was bailed/rescued from a kill pen in central PA in December 2018 by very giving donors of The Santana Center, a 501(c)(3) horse rescue located in Rhode Island. He came with no history given, but obviously well versed in ranch-style riding. Unlike many others who come from the same type of situation, his body score was pretty high, but he had a respiratory illness and was in quarantine for two months, where he was stalled with a miniature horse named Dory.   He showed his generous nature, as he was able to keep her from getting stressed in her new surroundings.   He was transported to the rescue in February 2019, where Jenna and Rob met him and fell in love at first sight.  He was adopted soon thereafter and from then on, he was loved, spoiled, and used as a trail horse for Rob, an active-duty vet. He rides in English and looks stunning, but western riding is where he is most comfortable. Red’s movement is very smooth and he has an extremely calm and comforting demeanor for anyone who may get the pleasure of riding him.

The next step in Red’s evaluation as a therapy horse is to ensure his soundness to do the work.  He is on a week quarantine, and then a veterinary check-up, a chiropractic evaluation, and saddle fit professional shall assess what kind of saddle/tack he will require for our clients.  This all requires an initial outlay of funds before we know if he will indeed be able to do the job.  Over the next forty-five days we will be testing his willingness, personality, and demeanor in hopes of adding Red to our well-behaved therapy herd. 

Your donation now can help Red be the best he can for BITS ETC.  Please consider sending in your tax deductible donation today to sponsor Red.

Red in quarantine at the Rescue
Red in quarantine at the Rescue
Red (on the right) with Annie, his friend
Red (on the right) with Annie, his friend
First Day at BITS ETC
First Day at BITS ETC
Red in the Round Pen ready to begin his new career
Red in the Round Pen ready to begin his new career

Links:

 
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