We're thankful for the summer weather so far, allowing us to keep serving people in need! In our temporary home in Cedar Hill, we conduct all programs without an indoor arena, to provide cover from rain showers, the sun, and pests on hot days. Even though, we're fortunate this summer to have the cooperation of nature, to continue safely serving clients. Just a handful of cancelations due to high temps and storms, but we carry on with programs in the paddock, which offers just enough shade from the tree line and a wonderful breeze.
We love these nice weather months that make it possible for us to welcome our friends from Pony Bird to join us in experiencing Unmounted Services.
All participants in this program use wheelchairs for mobility, so having nice weather not only helps everyone stay cool, but is so important just to navigate into the paddock. When it rains, the ground can become too soft for wheelchairs to move across the grass; dry days or just gentle rains the days before have been great for this program. When Pony Bird comes to visit, they enjoy interacting with our horses up close (sometimes right in their laps!) Residents really get energized for this time out in the novel equine environment, and through the program practice incorporating their senses. Seeing, touching, smelling (treats and horse feed) and listening (to hooves, snorts, swishing tails) as their senses relate to horses stimulate the engagement of the body and mind, as it works to process this input.
Our Barn Buddies participants continue their progress, as well.
Barn Buddies are at the barn seven days a week in all types of weather practicing vocational skills of the equine industry. This includes all basic care of the horses, accountability and record keeping, as well as opportunities for equine facility and grounds maintenance. Our Barn Buddies have gained so much knowledge and experience over the six plus years some of them have been participating. The program currently supports three Barn Buddies. Barn Buddies began with no experience in the equine industry and have trained and worked diligently through the program to gain skills in handling, feeding, and basic barn management. Along the way, the program incorporates specific goals individual to each Barn Buddies' needs, abilities, and goals for the quality and improvement of their personal health. Whether that's strengthening weak muscles, practicing career skills, or coping with health complications, our Barn Buddies are making strides across all their evaluation markers, which of course and most importantly, translates to increased quality of life at and outside of the barn.
Additionally, we've been busy with Always Home (our retirement program for senior service horses), new volunteer training, and hosting several special volunteer groups.
With much more planned for the rest of the season and throughout fall, we're just so thankful for this time together. Equally, we are thankful to you, our supporters, whose prayers, donations and shares keep us in the community serving people in need.