Sunday, April 16, 2017

Not Just For The Kids

One of the keys to the success of our unique program is our multi generational cross section of participants and volunteers. The adults in our program both give and receive.

The more they give, the more that they receive.

I don't think that we have had a participant/volunteer that has shaped and changed our program as much as Wendell has. He began riding with us when he was 63 years old. From the beginning he was a fixture at the horse lot and when he retired he put even more of himself into what we do. A widely read man with a first rate mind, Wendell was the first person that showed me how we could use soil and water conservation techniques to radically improve the quality of our program. He sent me a lengthy memo a few years ago with a simple message, "You have a mud problem."

Wendell used his considerable expertise in organic gardening to point our program in the right direction. I constantly refer to to the Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening that he gave me for ideas and information. The mud is gone, the run off is radically reduced and the grass is green. That is a huge change.

And now we use our soil and water conservation and permaculture projects as part of our educational program. We went from having a mud problem to being able to teach solutions for future generations in just a few years.

But it was his idea that we raise funds for a deep well and irrigation system that will have the greatest long term impact on our program. Rolling a component of artificial watering into a program of modified rotational grazing will do more to bring quality natural forage to our horses than anything that I ever planned.

And...Wendell is taking a very important roll in Corolla preservation. He is shown above with his young Corolla stallion, Pancho. This fall or next spring Pancho will become part of the foundation stallions in the Corolla offsite breeding program. Wendell has spent countless hours handling and teaching the young horse. I have not mentioned this to Wendell yet but there is a rare breeds Expo coming up in Lexington this fall and I think that the two of them will make a fine representation for this strain of Colonial Spanish horse.

As we entered this fundraising effort I asked Wendell to send me  information for use in a blog post about the roll of adult participants in our program.

What he sent me was powerful--intensely personal and filled with meaning......and the entire thrust of the post was about what the program meant to him and how more families need to participate along side their children. I will use that post at another time. It was typical of Wendell that the post was not a laundry list of things that he has done for the program.

And it becomes typical of all of those who throw their heart into the horse lot. No one looks for an award or even recognition. The distinction between what is given and what is received blurs. The thing given becomes the thing received.

 You can be part of this effort. Go to our website and make a contribution today. We are a 501 (c) 5 non-profit breed conservation program and as such contributions are not tax deductible. We are in our first month long social media fundraising effort. Feel free to share this with everyone that you know who cares about horses and people

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