It was an exciting day here at Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities on Monday, January 30, 2012. We placed our order with the Lovato's at Equisense, Inc. for our Equicizer! At $3274, it is the largest item in our budget for the project. We are hopeful that it will be delivered in time for one of our largest community events...Farm Days at the Oakdale Mall in mid March.
The Equicizer is an incredible piece of equipment that will change and enhance our programming in many ways. One of the most significant is that we will no longer be weather dependent and can now continue our vital services, including hippotherapy, all year round. Here are some of the other ways we will use the Equicizer in our programming:
- Every potential hippotherapy and therapeutic riding student will be evaluated with the Equicizer before beginning mounted sessions. We will be able to more accurately assess student abilities and select the appropriate horse.
- We will be able to start therapeutic riding students with sessions on the Equicizer, and then move to mounted work on a horse when their comprehension of the tasks and ability to safely mount and dismount is demonstrated. This is especially beneficial in our work with children with Autism.
- We can train our volunteers more effectively. They will have the opportunity to practice safe mounting and dismounting of students, to practice the lesson activities together as a team and learn from each other.
- The Equicizer allows us to serve students who weigh up to 300 pounds, and those who may have difficulty mounting or dismounting a full sized horse safely.
- The Equicizer is a wonderful teaching tool that we can take with us to events and demonstrations. Especially events that are difficult to bring a full sized horse to, or those that might be too stressful for a live animal.
- The Equicizer will be instrumental in our programming for Seniors!
- The Equicizer does not require Veterinary care, feed and hay or a manure fork! We will be able to change and improve the lives of more than 125 individuals each year, at no charge, effectively serving more than 625 people over 5 years and saving the organization nearly $40,000 in horse related costs.
Because of your support, we will be one of eight programs in all of New York State that is able to offer their clients access to an Equicizer for their therapeutic needs. The remaining funds raised during our project will be used to complete construction of our therapy room where the Equicizer will reside. We are beginning construction on the therapy room in the next two weeks so it will be ready when the Equicizer arrives. The room will be located in our main barn just a few feet from the parking area. It will be fully handicapped accessible, as is the entire property. Our office will move to the therapy room when it is complete, and it will also serve as a private consultation area for clients and therapists to work. The location is also just a few feet from the Pony Paddock, so visitors will still have an opportunity to interact with the horses during their Equicizer sessions.
We will be hosting a dedication event at the farm on Saturday, May 5, 2012 from 4-7pm, during the events leading to the running of the 138th Kentucky Derby. We welcome our students, volunteers and project sponsors to join us as we celebrate this exciting moment in our program's history. Please RSVP to Colleen at 607-658-3298 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will joining us. We hope to see you at the ribbon cutting!
From all of us at Borrowed Freedom, our most sincere thanks for your incredible generosity. This moment is just as much your as it is ours, because you helped make it happen! If you would like to learn more about the Equicizer and see it in action, here is a wonderful video by Equisense, Inc. Enjoy!
Borrowed Freedom Founder and Program Director