Summer 2012 Newsletter
Welcome to our new quarterly newsletter! So many wonderful things are happening every day at Touchstone Farm. We want to share the highlights with you, our farm family and friends.
Everyone at Touchstone Farm is getting ready for the first session of Pony Farm Summer Camp, now just days away. We are busy putting the final touches on some major enhancements to the farm.
Campers, get ready to ...
- Sleep oh-so-soundly on new bunk beds
- Enjoy the cool New Hampshire breezes without the uncool NH bugs, thanks to brand-new window screens in the Lodge
- Pussy-foot on your pony through the professionally resurfaced rings (No more rock-farming while you ride!)
- Admire the gorgeous new white fencing and smoothly opening gates around all the outdoor rings
PS It's not too late to register for camp. We still have a few openings. Call Becky at 603-654-6308 and claim your spot today.
Riding lessons for all ages now run year-round at Touchstone Farm. We've expanded our staffing (human and equine) and programs so that you can continue -- or begin -- horseback riding lessons any time.
Summer is a wonderful time to learn how to ride on a friendly, well-trained lesson horse at Touchstone Farm. Lessons will take place in our indoor and outdoor rings. We're also planning to incorporate some trail riding on the beautiful country roads and trails around the farm.
Teri Muskavitch, Horse Power volunteer, is a woman of many talents who also has a very big heart. This Spring, Teri made necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that she brought to Touchstone Farm to sell as a fundraiser for Barnyard Buddies.
Teri's lovely jewelry was a big hit with Touchstone Farm staff, volunteers, and visitors to the farm. Sales from Teri's creations raised over $200 for Barnyard Buddies, helping the camp reach its $3000 fundraising goal. The money will go toward camp scholarships and the purchase of supplies to make Barnyard Buddies an even better experience for all campers.
Teri Muskavitch, thanks for all you do for Horse Power and Barnyard Buddies!
At 18 hands and 2,200 pounds, Gruffy the kindly Clydesdale is kinda hard to miss. This gorgeous horse joined the equine "staff" this Spring. (That's Gruffy on the left in the photo. We couldn't resist putting Gruffy and Punch, our smallest mini-horse, side by side.)
Bred at an Anheuser-Busch farm in Illinois, Gruffy was most recently owned by a New Hampshire couple who decided that 10 year old Gruffy would be happier in an active environment where he has a job to do. At Touchstone Farm, Gruffy immediately landed two jobs: he works in both our carriage driving program and in the Horse Power Therapeutic Horsemanship program.
Terri Devlin, Horse Power Program Director, worked intensively with Gruffy to test him out for therapeutic riding. He passed with flying colors. Gruffy is already working with Horse Power riders, and he and Terri have formed a tight bond.
Gruffy has also become something of a rock star at Touchstone Farm thanks to his sweet and friendly manner, and his willingness to work wherever he is needed. Big as he is, he's a gentle guy who is handling his stardom very well.
Congratulations to Alia Mortensen and Brooke Townsend for completing the 2012 Spring Horse Power Instructor Training School – it is no easy feat!
Instructor Training Candidates (ITCs) complete an intensive three month program with a minimum of 85 curriculum hours and 85 practicum hours, plus other requirements for PATH, Intl., the international certifying organization. These include a minimum of 25 practice teaching hours to mounted riders with disabilities, and a final teaching and riding evaluation.
Alia Mortensen (right) is a self-described avid “horse dork” from Minneapolis, MN. Alia is now preparing to establish and run her “dream” therapeutic riding center with the help of her nonprofit organization Team Quest.
Brooke Townsend (above left) of Lebanon, NH, is on the college track this fall to study equine science/business. Her dream is to continue gaining experience as an instructor and then run her own program . Since graduating from the program, Brooke has helped the Touchstone Farm equine staff work with new horses for Pony Farm Summer Camp.
Also joining us this Spring and continuing the course in the Fall is Jessica Dickey, of Jaffrey, NH. Jess has been involved with the farm for years! (Her mom is Terri Devlin, Program Director of Horse Power Therapeutic Horsemanship.) Read more about Jess in this article, recently featured on the front page of the Keene (NH) Sentinel.
Carriage drivers and horses of all levels joined us at Touchstone Farm on May 11-12 for a successful clinic with Marc Johnson. Marc has over 30 years of experience and has competed in World Four-in-Hand, Pair and Single Driving Championships. For the past 17 years, Marc has dedicated his time to training driving animals and drivers, organizing competitions, course designing, and being an ADS Technical Delegate.
The event started with a wonderful dinner and lively presentation by Marc at Stepping Stone Lodge on Friday evening. Saturday featured private lessons with Marc on each driver’s choice of topic. Participants, varying in ability and experience, had the opportunity to start driving safely and correctly, get the spring “mothballs” out of their horse, drive a cones course, or drive a pair of horses.
It was a treat to have Marc at the farm for such a successful event and we know he will be back. Stay tuned for other upcoming carriage driving events at Touchstone Farm so you can try your hand at driving!