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:

Feb 6, 2020

A final Report

? Drill Sargent Hagar the therapy horse with John
? Drill Sargent Hagar the therapy horse with John

As my final report on this Appeal, I want to thank all our supporters who have contributed to our Scholarship Fund through Appeal # 22190. Children with depression, adults with balance and strength challenges, Veterans and first Responders have all taken advantage of your generous funding of our programs. BITS ETC has grown, and changed since the first appeal was made five years ago on the GlobalGiving platform, in 2015. 

Across all appeals since then, using trainings and the power of the GlobalGiving online community, $17,712.00 has been raised for our mission.This proves the value of extending our support system to people physically far, but oh so close in understanding the healing power of the horse.

By closing this appeal and developing a new one I hope to tell our continuing story to a new group of possible supporters.

Since our humble beginnings over seventeen years ago, utilizing two horses, and one part-time instructor right up to today with three employees and eleven equines we strive for the development of healthy connection with horses as a healing medium to help us all form a healthy connection to people in our lives. 

I hope to hold your interest in BITS ETC, and invite you to follow our on-going progress in new appeals, focused on extending our mission, and improving our services. Please keep us in your charitable plans for 2020 and beyond!

two is better than one!
two is better than one!
Control of the breath....bubbles to speech!
Control of the breath....bubbles to speech!
Trail riding
Trail riding

Links:

Nov 7, 2019

We celebrate Thanksgiving all year long

Patsy on Hagar with her Leader and Side-walker
Patsy on Hagar with her Leader and Side-walker

Later this month many in the US will gather together for a day of thanks.  Families and friends will share time, a meal, memories of past years, and set aside the day to give thanks for things in their life that are good. It is fitting to shine a light on this day, and encourage a feeling of gratitude amid the usual hectic flow of daily life.  But here at BITS I realize more and more that we get to experience days of Thanksgiving all year long, because of you, our donors, volunteers and supporters.

Global Giving donors are volunteers!  Voluntarily giving of your treasure so others can treasure the experiences we, together, provide.  Volunteers come in all sizes and shapes, all ages, and because of Global Giving, from all parts of the world (we have even been gifted with donations from China!).  I find success with the help of connections that the Internet affords us, to spread the word of what we do so others can benefit. This force of good in the world has me giving thanks for modern technology even as we use some of the most ancient of methods to teach gratitude to our clients.

Ever since that first horse was tamed for human use, we've held them in high regard.  In today's world of expanding tech, and distance from those times we sometimes forget the value of touch, the need for connection to something outside ourselves, the sheer exuberance of freedom of movement a horse affords.  Working with horses to connect people with disabilities to the universal human need for growth, for strength of body and mind, for happy experiences, and connection to their own power to overcome what others perceive as disability leaves me thankful on a daily basis. 

I have a tradition at the end of each riding lesson; I ask the rider to give their horse a pat, and thank them for the ride.  They then thank the horse leader, and side walkers, for their support during the lesson, before dismounting.  There is no mechanism for them to directly thank you, the many donors who make it all happen, so as a way to share this gratitude with you, I want to tell you Patsy's story today.

Patsy has lived for the last sixty eight years with a medical diagnosis of autism.  Three years ago her deep desire to ride brought her here, and her love of horses has kept her coming, despite medical problems along the way that sometimes keep her from climbing on her horse.  She comes to groom, to feed, to spend some time outside the usual daily routines, and breathe deeply of the smells of the barn. She relaxes to the sounds of nickering, and munching of hay which soothes the spirit and calms the mind.  Patsy is most grateful for your support which keeps these experiences affordable and  within her world. And when the doctor says she is recovered from surgery, she rides---free at last on her horse, the best feeling in the world!  She  inspires us all,  

With thanks, 

 Pauline Meridien, founding Director, BITS ETC 

Patsy and Hagar
Patsy and Hagar

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