Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Best Things In Life Might Be Free, But Fence Posts Aren't

Yesterday Joe Walters, of Freedom Hunters, and his wife Chris, visited the horse lot. Freedom Hunters provides opportunities for outdoor adventures to veterans, active military members, and their families. They are a non-profit and by coincidence the visit coincided with a session that we do for veterans who are in the in-patient program at the Hampton VA hospital. We very much look forward to working with them for everything to providing demonstrations on how we tame wild horses, to joining in on a ride, and even providing the opportunity for kids whose parents are deployed to become regular program participants.

When I adopted my first wild horse about fifteen years ago it never even entered my mind that one day that would grow to the kind of program that we have become. No paid staff, all volunteers--horses eat 10-12,000 pounds of hay each week, new water system being put in---and Beth and I purchased nearly twenty acres of land adjacent to the horse lot for use by the program this week. Wendell bought a heavy duty brush mower and I have been cutting down small trees all week. Fencing for that land and paying for the well and watering system will be extraordinarily expensive. The good news is that we are able to do so much work ourselves and rarely have to hire out or rent expensive equipment. (This week I moved many tons of compost material and the only equipment used was a donated snow shovel) However, we will be in need of some significant cash donations to cover the fencing and water system costs--and we need it as soon as possible. We are a 501 (c) 5 breed conservation non-profit. Unlike a 501 (c) 3 donations to Gwaltney Frontier Farm are not tax deductible. We would be in pretty good shape if we raised five thousand dollars this month. Donations may be made by check to Gwaltney Frontier Farm, 16 Dashiell Drive, Smithfield Va 23430. (Gwaltney Frontier Farm, Inc is the legal name of the organization. Mill Swamp Indian Horses is our program name.)

 These improvements will make it much easier for us to work to preserve nearly extinct strains of historic Colonial Spanish horses, such as the Corollas, Choctaws, and Marsh Tackies. I am not a salesman or a great pitchman for fund raising. Perhaps it is a genetic deficit. When Momma or Lido knew about people in the community who needed a hand they simply would ask me "You got your check book with you?"

With that in mind, I would appreciate it if you would all look around the house and see if you can find your check book.

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