Aug 9, 2019

Summer is the BEST time at BITS!

A portrait with Mr. Jingles, the Donkey
A portrait with Mr. Jingles, the Donkey

Summer Celebrations:

 

We celebrate client's successes and spend the day cheering them on at our Annual Horse Show.  This year saw clients find their voice in asking their horse to 'walk on."  Riders sat tall as core strength was built with weekly challenges built into lessons.  A wider range of clients, representing many disabilities was served by our therapy herd.  And Volunteers gained joy and good health while exercising in the sunshine at BITS.

 

We also celebrate our Donors and Supporters from around the country (and the world, as we accepted our first donation from China!) with the help of GlobalGiving fundraising platform.  Without this evolving method of communication we would be hard pressed to find like-minded people to join us. Our mission: providing quality therapeutic riding and equine assisted activities to people living with disabilities spreads the word of the healing power of horses.A lesson we all need to re-learn in our sometimes hectic world.

 

Thank you for your continued support.  We couldn't do it without your help.  I hope your summer fills you with as much satisfaction and joy as your donation has given to us. After all, we make a living by what we get, and a life by what we give.  Thank you for making lives better with your gift to BITS ETC.

Volunteers run the course every day.
Volunteers run the course every day.
Sitting tall!
Sitting tall!
Chart of Clients Served at BITS, by Diagnosis
Chart of Clients Served at BITS, by Diagnosis
Veteran's Program Horse: Benevolence
Veteran's Program Horse: Benevolence
Seeing "eye-to-eye"
Seeing "eye-to-eye"
Apr 8, 2019

April Showers bring MUD

February School Break Camp 2019
February School Break Camp 2019

April showers bring May flowers but before the flowers bloom, we deal with MUD.

Almost lost a rider last week.  Leon came to ride his horse, Gideon.   While following Melissa, his instructor, across the paddock in what seemed to be the path, we heard:

                          “hold up there…I’m sinking in up to my jockey shorts!”

Melissa quickly bent in front of Leon, lifting him onto her back, and out of his mired boots.  With the mud nearing the top of both boots, they were nearly impossible to extract from the sucking ooze. A quick-thinking volunteer rescued both of them and the boots for a happy ending to this story.  Loud peals of laughter brought home the lesson learned:         

                           “Don’t stray from the path lest you get mired in mud.”

Leon went on to groom his horse of all mud and dust, readying him for the lesson.  His patience and ability to correctly lead and groom his horse starts from the ground up, with great results when he gets into the saddle.  Gideon knows Leon, and Leon knows Gideon.  Our community safely teaches self-reliance and team work to get the job done!

We can’t continue to do this work without the community of supporters like you who make it possible for Leon to learn from mud, and Gideon to teach him these lessons. We have doubled the number of riders in just one year, and currently teach 50 riders a week.  To serve them we have added instructors and offer school break camps as an additional way to experience the healing power of our herd.   Please consider a spring donation to support the new students who will appear with the flowers of May.

Mud Bathing
Mud Bathing
Mr. Jingles, the Miniature donkey
Mr. Jingles, the Miniature donkey
Riding towards the May Sunshine!
Riding towards the May Sunshine!

Links:

Jan 9, 2019

"Do You Still Ride in the Winter?" she asked.

Yes we ride in the winter!
Yes we ride in the winter!

Please note we have permission to use all photo's in this report.  To protect client privacy, I have changed names in this report.

 

"Do you still ride in the winter?"  A hesitant voice on the other end of the phone line disrupted my morning of shoveling, sanding, and hauling water in addition to the regular barn chores needed to feed and house 11 horses. The local plow guy would be here in an hour, but the horses need breakfast early.

"My son has been diagnosed with autism, and his doctor thinks he could benefit from riding horses."  she explained

"Of course we ride in the winter!"  "Let me get your information, and we can set up a tour---how old is your son?" I replied

And now we have a reason to haul the water, and shovel the snow!  A new rider will begin next week, and hopefully find delight in his 'therapy' and added focus.  We offer riding year-round because our clients have told us of the skills lost when therapy is interrupted. We get help from neighbors with plowing the driveway and roads to the fields, and help from over 40 volunteers who give of their time each week to keep the office and grounds running smoothly, the stalls clean and bedded, the hay stored safely, the water buckets cleared of frozen water and refilled, the daily grind that winter adds to our routine.  And winter here can be brutal, NH known for cold and snow. 

Some clients take a break during the coldest parts of winter; turning to aqua sports, or skiing for exercise. Then most return with the spring, ready to be greeted by their friends in the barn. But many come all year round..from .Polly (67) who never misses a week, to Jackson(2), who can barely bend his elbows through his snowsuit! Schools send busloads for group interactions, and the days are busy, into the darkness of early evening.

With the New Year at hand, I want to thank you for your financial support of our programs.  Without your help, the day would be colder, the wind stronger, and the task near unbearable.  It's only with the help of our community of supporters that lets us just get it done!. "It takes a village to raise a child" is an old African proverb.  Thank you for expanding our 'village" of support so all our clients who wish to, can ride all year long!

Collect your horse from the paddock
Collect your horse from the paddock
Riding in the riding ring
Riding in the riding ring
A little hay for after the work-out
A little hay for after the work-out
Horses drink lots of water!
Horses drink lots of water!
A quiet Winter ride..the best!
A quiet Winter ride..the best!
 
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