It’s hard to believe that it is the end of May already. It has been a busy and rewarding last month or so.
Probably the most significant is that we got our first grant from A Glimmer of Hope Foundation-Austin. I am so excited about the potential of this innovative new program that the grant is helping to support. It is a Work-to-Ride/Job Coaching Program. The goal of the program is to teach individuals with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities job skills that will be applicable in the real world, allowing them to get real life experience that will translate into job obtainment. Their work on the ranch will also earn them "bucks" that can be cashed in for therapeutic riding lessons. We're currently seeking out eligible students age 16-24 that may be aging out of the school system or who may need some job-life training in order to be successful in life.
Okie is working out well in the program and has been in classes already. Gwen on the other hand has said "no thank you, very much!" Just last week, Bubba came to give it a shot. He has created havoc in the herd, but it is all starting to settle down. I have started riding him and each day he gets better and better and is starting to accept that I am ok! He has fallen in love with Gaskin already which is nice to see!
Last weekend we had a very small volunteer training followed by volunteer appreciation. I realized that I had not announced the Volunteer of the Month since January! So, drum roll please….. Volunteers of the Month for 2012 are:
December 2011 Chuck Colvin for my low water crossing – nuff said!
January Melissa Fox for getting NYOS Charter school involved and for searching endlessly for grants!
February Lisa Foight for being so supportive when Gabby was euthanized, for reminding me that I have a huge support system, and for joining the Board!
March Becca Moore and Laura Bailey for trying so hard to network and get additional fencing to keep the horses safe, for being here every Tues and Thurs to feed and volunteer in classes!
April Nick D’Andrea for encouraging his friends to volunteer, for his help in training volunteers, and for his help getting facebook “like” button on the website!
May Michael Gaskin and Michael Davis for being beasts when it comes to cutting down trees and property management and for stepping up to get trained to volunteer in classes which in my opinion ruins their image of being tough guys!
We have so many amazing volunteers and I appreciate each one of them for so many reasons!
This weekend will prove to be an exhausting weekend, but a very fruitful one. It’s time for Mulching Madness to ensue! I will be so happy to get rid of these huge brush piles and to get mulch in the arena and the round pens. I sure hope that we can get it done. Nick, Alex, Davis, and Gaskin have been busy cutting down some more of the dead trees. I think the total just for this week is 25 trees or so! They have been unbelievable.