I have so much news to share with you!
First of all, Dumplin' the Equicizer and the therapy room have proved to be an essential part of our program. We use it for evaluations, for training, for parent meetings, for adult rehabilitation...the list goes on and on. I honestly can say that I don't know what we did before having this incredible opportunity. We had to cancel SO many lessons and Hippotherapy sessions and now we only have to cancel if the weather is very extreme. It is a blessing beyond words!
We have also welcomed two new team members into our program. Enzo is a 9 year old Dutch Warmblood Gelding with a wonderful, funny personality. He is 16hh, and along with Simon, the biggest horse of our herd. He is gentle enough for lead line and Hippotherapy, but large and talented for the more advanced adult rider. He is residing with Miss Katie Scarlett, our mule, and both of them seem to adore each other. Our second new addition is Dusty. He is approximately 12 years old and a Quarter Horse/Appaloosa cross. He has the cutest polka dotted face! He arrived and we knew that he was going to be perfect from the minute his hooves hit the ground. He is smaller in size, about 14.2hh, sturdy and gentle. He is wonderful for Hippotherapy and great with our more timid new riders. I don't think I have ever met a horse who adored obstacles and games more than Dusty! Both these amazing horses have been donated to our program by their generous owners. Both have been meticulously cared for and impeccably trained, which makes our job a joy to do!
We have some bittersweet news that we must share as well. Our beloved Paco, the horse that started it all and my very best friend, passed over the Rainbow Bridge on Father's Day morning. While his big heart and kind spirit remained strong, his body was failing him rapidly and it is suspected that he had a tumor or growth in the spinal column. We said goodbye to him in the cool of the morning after filling his belly with carrots and his favorite apple turnovers. As he passed, a butterfly landed on his halter...paused...and flew away. I believe our boy was escorted on beautiful peaceful wings as he made his passage. I couldn't have wanted more for him, he deserved it for all he has done!
Our Shadow, the adorable 8 year old Appaloosa gelding, has been adopted with our blessing by the Andres family. Shadow is a darling horse, but he much prefers to have his own person and be a family horse. Will and Grace have loved him since the day he arrived and have sponsored his care and feeding for the past two years. We couldn't have picked a better home for him! It's even better because he is just 25 feet away!
We have begun laying the foundations for some new programming here since the spring. One is our Books in the Barnyard program, which will be a fundraising project that promotes literacy in partnership with the horses. Another is our Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy program which is being piloted right now. Earlier this month we began offering Recreational Therapy for clients at Broome Development Center and are looking forward to expanding that as well.
As you can see, it has been a very busy spring around here! The classroom is complete, we have a restroom and full tack room, the arena is leveled and filled, new horses, gardens, new programs...wow! And we couldn't have done it without you. Our donors and sponsors allow us to provide this programming at no charge, which is vital in our community with so many unemployed and still displaced from the flooding of September 2011. You truly have helped make dreams come true for so many children and adults. Please continue to follow our adventures on our Facebook page and website in between updates here on GlobalGiving!
On behalf of the students, volunteers and horses of Borrowed Freedom...THANK YOU!
Dusty hard at work!
Working hard on Dumplin' on a rain day!