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All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC

by Back In The Saddle Equine Therapy Center
All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC
All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC
All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC
All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC
All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC
All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC
All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC
All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC
All Equine Services Free to Clients at BITS ETC
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

Links:

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
Veteran's Program Horse: Benevolence
Seeing "eye-to-eye"
Seeing "eye-to-eye"
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:

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!
Entrance to BITS SETC
Entrance to BITS SETC

Generous public support through this GlobalGiving Platform enables us to reach out to Veteran's Service Organizations to collaborate in bringing more people the benefits of horse interactions! Tomorrow begins our work with Team RWB (Team Red White and Blue, Manchester NH chapter).

Currently posted on Facebook:

"September 29, 2018

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Open Meeting & Team Building
12:00 PM - 04:00 PM EDT
334 College Hill Rd (BITS Equine Therapy Center), Hopkinton, NH 03229

We are proud to be in the process of building a relationship with this fantastic Equine Therapy Center to be a part of their RideUP program in the future. We have asked to hold our 3rd quarter open leadership meeting at the Center so we can utilize the team building skills and ideas they have for their clients to help us in Team RWB Manchester. And, so that our members can get the opportunity to see all of the different options the Center has to offer.

Here is the breakdown of the day:

12:00-1:30 Team Building Exercise

1:30-3:00 Leadership Meeting. Lunch will be provided! If the weather has cooperated, we may be able to eat outside near their Heart shaped pond

3:00-4:00 Service Work for the Center to thank them for hosting us for the afternoon

Please wear boots or sneakers that are sturdy for your feet (and you don’t mind getting dirty), we may be on their trails and it may not be even ground.

Come join the leadership team for our 3rd quarter open leadership meeting. This will be a fun filled team building activity. This a Child Friendly Center, so bring your Mini Eagles. All are welcome to enjoy the day!!

Eagle Leader Contact..."

As a site for ongoing interactions, BITS ETC hopes to provide continued opportunities for Veterans and their families to find relaxation and respite on our campus with our therapeutic herd of horses.  Anticipating an increase in clients, we have invested in a search for additional horses, and will welcome "Spencer's Rising Star" as our newest addition to the herd. Spence will be used in the Veteran's programming (Our Ride UP program for Uniformed Professionals) as well as our general therapeutic riding program for children and adults with disabilities.

So much expansion requires continued dedication to raising the funds to continue our mission. Thanks to GlobalGiving we are able to get the word out about what we do, and why we do it. Couldn't make it happen without YOU!! 

 

Veteran Ride UP program participant
Veteran Ride UP program participant
Veteran Ride UP program participant
Veteran Ride UP program participant

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Back In The Saddle Equine Therapy Center

Location: Hopkinton, NH - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Pauline Meridien
Hopkinton, NH United States
$4,509 raised of $30,000 goal
 
80 donations
$25,491 to go
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