Dear Farm Family and Friends,
As the snow piles melt and it gets up to the 40’s, I get inspired that spring is indeed on its way. When I walk every morning, the birds are actually singing and the ice is cracking off the bank to fall into the stream. The local sap house is gearing up to start gathering the liquid gold which will become maple syrup for our pancakes. It all makes me so eager to get out there and start riding and driving carriages again. I simply cannot wait for springtime and your arrival!!!
I am so thrilled to be feeling top of the wave again. What a difference it is to wake up every morning and be rearin’ to go. I am back to my old self again. As we begin our 41st year of camp, our 37th year of riding lessons and the lodge, our 22nd year of Horse Power, and our 11th year of the Horse Power Instructor Training School, I love every day as much as I did back in those beginning times. I adore watching all the activity that goes on during each season here at the farm. Seeing so many people loving the animals, the land and being together makes my world shine bright. It is a real blessing to be part of this farm family.
Speaking of team, what a great one we have for 2012. We are already nearly full for summer time camp staff. Our Horse Power Instructional team is dynamite. Our Barn Team is committed and hard working. Our Office Team is passionate about the business side of the farm. Our Farm Management crew is so talented and smart, taking such good care of the buildings and property. What a group of loving, caring, competent and professional people we have at Touchstone Farm. Our mission is clearly alive in their hearts.
Perhaps most exciting of all is that we are ramping up a new and dedicated team of Touchstone Farm riding and carriage driving instructors. We have given this part of our program top priority. This is definitely a building year for our general lesson program. We are eager to serve children and adults for both riding and driving. We will be announcing some great deals to draw people into our new programs. Watch for your emails to see what is around the corner this spring. We have worked really hard to find something to offer all our local horse enthusiasts!
|Emily and Zoe|
The transition to Touchstone Farm is now complete. It is proving to be a superior move. What a pleasure to have one budget, one bank account and one set of customers. Our vision of streamlining the organization has come true. We want to thank all of you who were a part of this reorganization. Your work, combined with the work of our board and staff, is making the farm come alive this year while paving the way for many years to come. I am genuinely moved with the progress and support that has been so generously given.
We just went last weekend to visit some of the local barns which send us kids for Pony Farm summer camp. We wanted to meet the folks and horses that the campers talk about so often during the summer months. It was so great to see the wonderful teachers and fellow horse lovers during our trip. We plan to visit more barns this month because it was such fun.
The highlight of one of our visits was that two girls, Emily Goldman and Lauren Micou, asked us for a special moment. During our time together, they proudly showed us the results of their joint efforts to fundraise for Touchstone and its many programs. With a jar of Hershey’s kisses in their local library and a big poster, they had raised over $50. They were mighty proud of themselves, as well they should be. Having kids care about helping other kids moves me to my core. We all join to heartily thank you, Emily and Lauren!!!
Some other exciting news is that we have recently received a terrific grant from a family foundation. This grant is to help us upgrade the farm so that we can offer better riding and driving experiences for all our students, young and old. We are so excited because we are going to be able to resurface all the riding and driving rings, including the indoor arena, with perfect footing. We will also be taking out the existing sand footing and put it into the paddocks, making them mud free. No more shoes lost in the mud when catching a horse! We will then have brand new fencing installed for all the rings. The grant will also allow us to rebuild the fencing for the paddocks. Imagine all bright, shiny new fences and rings…It is fantastic indeed.
|Getting a new roof on the barn!|
In addition to these great improvements for our horses and riders, we will also be able to grade all the entrances and roadways in the farm. This means no pot holes. All of our cars will be glad for that! Best of all, we have already been able to fix the part of the barn roof that was failing. Knowing that the stately barn is preserved for the next 30 years from any water damage helps me to sleep better at night.
I can’t wait for you to come see all these super changes. We are really on a roll these days. Between great staff, new horses, rings and roadways, wonderful health and exciting future events, we are flourishing. Now, all we need is to have YOU come to visit. Don’t be a stranger. We will welcome you into the farm gates with open arms and a big smile.
Stay in touch…Warmly,