A BLURB about our credentials (or lack thereof): Because the Titanic was built by professionals and the ark by amateurs, we are more than happy to hang on to our "absolute amateur" status. (can you blame us? ;o)
Wow, it's been awhile! Between the holiday insanity and some other challenges it took a little while for us to get back here. Sarabear has had a very rough couple of months, and is no longer responding to any medications. She has lost an alarming amount of weight, and her appetite is sporadic. Although we are now feeding her three times a day, Sara remains severely underweight due to her heaves (she is out-eating all eight other horses combined). We are definitely facing a tough decision in the near future as to what will be best for her. GuessWhatGuessWhatGuessWhatGuessWhat?? We have 92 supporters now on GoodSearch! *Woot*Woot*
YOU SEARCH OR SHOP... WE GIVE!
Raise money for EPIC FARMS just by searching the web and shopping online!
Won't you please help us by using GoodSearch, GoodShop and GoodDining? It doesn't cost anything at all to sign up, but it sure does matter to us! Just go to their website and select Epic Farms as your charity of choice. You can download the plugin to add
GoodSearch to your existing search box, or you can go crazy and download
the tool bar for the whole shebang (that's what I did ;o) Be sure to set GoodSearch as your default search engine (it's a normal Yahoo search). Goodsearch will donate a penny to us each time you search the web! Isn't that awesome? Better yet, there are a gazillion coupons on there for real stores, and if you shop through GoodShop the store will make a donation to us as well. Awesome! GoodDining offers coupons and yet another way to donate each time you go out to eat. Please help us pass the word - all those pennies really do add up! I'm still struggling with finding the time to work on the website (I have LOTS of pictures to post - eek!) Please don't forget to visit our blog, Equine Epiphanies to see what we're up to (otherwise known as how much trouble we can get into :o) from week to week. That's the very best way to keep up with us!
Below is a short video slide show for you to watch that is, essentially, our philosophy. You may have to let it hiccup all the way through one time before watching it. Hopefully, you believe as we do that horses are a gift. Enjoy!
Lady's sarcoids [tumors] seem to have stabilized. While these tumors do not usually spread internally, they are extremely difficult to treat (and are resistant to most medicines).
Sarabear was diagnosed with Heaves
(Equine COPD), and was much improved after a shot from the vet and an herbal treatment from SmartPak. She suffered a relapse in September and then developed some dental problems. Her dental issues were solved, however, her breathing continues to be a major struggle. She is not responding to the steroid shots, and is becoming increasingly despondent.
About this Site...
If you think horses are beautiful animals, but a horse is a horse and let's not get carried away here (they're livestock*, for crying out loud) then this is probably not the place for you (except for the HandydandyHints page perhaps).
- BUT -
If you think that maybe (just maybe) there might be something you are missing or you are a curious sort that loves to think and work outside the box and you're willing to learn or try something new then: COME ON IN...
WE'RE SO VERY GLAD YOU'RE HERE!
* You might want to peek in a bible at Revelations 19:11 (certainly supports the theory that horses are something extra special, doesn't it???)
Look who we've teamed up with!
Funny how things work out. I was racking my brain trying to figure out a way to incorporate reading into our programs, when I stumbled across The Black Stallion Literacy Foundation (Woo!) Their reading programs slide so seamlessly into what we were already planning, it's obviously a match made in heaven :o) Awesome!
*These are the things that we are already doing and/or working on for now and in the future*
Horses 101 ~ Teaching the basics about horses and the different horse breeds. This program will be offered both on and off site for schools and small groups. Up and running off site.
Horses 102 ~ More in-depth teaching about horses, with a greater focus on body language and personality traits.
Farm Visits ~ Offered to families and small groups who will be able to come out to visit the farm and meet the horses. Particular emphasis will be on cancer patients and volunteers and employees of local service organizations ('cause they could definitely use someplace peaceful to decompress).
Care Package Corral ~ A selection of fun things to do (mostly horse related) tucked inside a colorful envelope for children that are sick and/or disabled. Items include things to color, colored pencils (to color them with ;o), stickers, postcards, a bookmark, puzzles, etc. We have delivered these to a local hospital (for sickle cell patients), the Twilight Pageant (for area cancer kids) and are always making more.
Tailored Programs ~ Will be designed to work with specific needs and/or interests for area organizations like the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, handicapped student's/schools, home schooled children, the Local Chapter of the Blind, etc. Work Toward Reward ~ Regular barn chores and other manual tasks are pretty darn important around here (this program fosters both responsibility and self worth). Participants are expected to help with the fundraising to help offset the cost of their lessons. It also gives them a better understanding of what is involved in owning a horse besides the fun stuff (and it's spelled W-O-R-K).
*This program is now being officially piloted - Woo!
Mentoring ~ For older children and high school students interested in pursuing careers in either the equine science industry or veterinary medicine specializing in equines.
Summer Camp ~ This is "the biggie" and will probably be the next to last program implemented. A one week [half day] camp with horses, crafts, American Sign Language and more!
Traveling TLC ~ A pair of miniature horses (or one horse and one donkey) that can be taken to area nursing homes and hospitals to visit seniors and pediatric patients.
would like to help fund free mammograms, click on this link. They also
offer a daily reminder (some of us need a nudge - yep, that would be me
:o) through your email. It only takes a minute to click for the cause -
Get 'em squashed ladies, it's important!
Our Mission Statement:
To create and maintain a family friendly environment that will promote
equine based learning and facilitate safe interaction for both
individuals and small groups [in Southeast Alabama].
Do you buy any horse and/or pet supplies on line?
By visiting JeffersPet through the link below, you can help us tremendously - a portion of the proceeds from your purchase is donated back to us every time you shop through us (isn't that great?) Want to be really helpful? Bookmark us to always shop through this link - or you can right click the link to create your own desktop shortcut with it (is that cool or what?) Thank you!
P.S.They also carry great stuff for dogs, cats, cows, sheep, and more! Don't forget to tell everybody you ever met to shop through us, 'cause we need all the help we can get (for sure!).
When it comes to the food you eat, I'm a straight
Meat-N-Potatoes kind of gal; um, hold the gravy. When it comes to food for
thought and working with the horses, however, I am all about
the smorgasbord (buffet).
~There is no one size fits all training method~
...any more than one horse is just the same as another!
With so much information available, you
can be a great gourmet; using a little of this, and a little of that. Add
a dash of the other and you've got yourself a homemade recipe cooked up
to fit you and the horse; that includes factoring in what both
of you are capable of. I guess we'll call my approach a slice
of Hodgepodge Humble Pie (and that's probably enough of the food
I freely admit to messing up on a regular basis, but happen to be of the opinion that if you're not messing up at least periodically, you're probably not doing anything either :o) Our Horse Heroes page features some of the people we love to look to for help (I'll be perpetually working on that page). Equine Epiphanies (link above) is the blog and details some interesting things I've discovered along the training trail, along with bits and pieces of life (because hey, it all kind of goes together, right?).
What the heck is Etsy? Etsy is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell wonderful handmade items, as well as vintage goods and crafting supplies. They do ask you to sign up to shop, but it is extremely easy to do. Here's a sneak peek for you...
My parents made me
look everything up in the dictionary. So, if you get stuck on a
word, just type it in the box to see what it means. (Oh, and don't
worry; it didn't kill me so I betcha it won't do you in either ;o)
Please don't forget to sign our guestbook; especially if you liked the site. (We need lots of encouragement ~ it's scary out here! :o)
A QUICK PERSONAL
NOTE: I may fantasize about having my very own clone, but the sad
fact is that there is only one of me (which, when I reflect upon it, may
be a good thing). I have a family, nine horses and full-time job, in
addition to the non-profit to keep up with. While I have some help
with a lot of the physical stuff, our virtual presence is all mine (DD
never makes it past email and P3 and DH only recently learned how to
watch Fox News online after mastering the power on and shut down
challenges). If you find a heinous typo or a broken link, please send me an email and let me know. I try to keep up, I but have more than 50
lenses (pages) on Squidoo, two online shops, the blog and this website
to maintain; so you can see where things might collect a few virtual
cobwebs from time to time. Not to mention cause me to question my sanity for having done it all in the first place :o) Thank you!
So how did we get here?
I often refer to our horses as my little "Psalm
37s" running around out there in the pasture. Why? Because horses are
indeed "my heart's desire" and I feel so very very blessed to be able
to have them. I have learned more from our horses in the past few years
than I ever learned in all the books I read, classes I took (in college), movies I watched, and
riding lessons I had growing up. That is why I am doing this; I desperately want to share some of the amazing things I've learned and yes I admit it; some of things I've had to unlearn as well (there have been lots of unlessons along the way too ;o)
While our original plan was to buy and sell horses, I learned very
quickly that if a horse came to this house and I spent more than 5
minutes with it, it stayed. Friends and family would roll their eyes
and tell me to at least sell some
of them. Obviously, it didn't take long before we were horse poor (but
happy!) In addition to the horses we bought on purpose, we
picked up some rescues along the way by accident. We did manage to
actually sell one of our "accidental rescues" to a family we knew, but
when she no longer suited their horse needs, (they got involved in
showing) she came right back. I taught riding lessons once or twice,
which in addition to a full time job, helped to pay the bills but that didn't seem to be the answer either. With so many horses ending up in rescues and slaughterhouses, I was hesitant to sell or give them any of them away lest they wind up with that same terrible fate. Somewhere along the line we began casually
inviting friends and people we knew to come see the horses, which we really enjoyed. Shortly thereafter, I was invited to speak to some middle school students who were reading "Black Beauty" and I had an absolute BLAST! :o) The casual visits slowly morphed into an unofficial educational venture, and it wasn't long before I
realized that there is no greater joy than can be found in sharing
something that's near and dear to your heart with others. Hooray! I had finally figured out what I was going to do with all those horses!
Why a non-profit?
Okay, I figured out my passion in
life is to share our horses with the world, now what? How do I do that
exactly? The more I looked in to what I wanted to accomplish, the
further in over my head I realized I was (hmmmmm). I wanted to be able
to share all this cool stuff with anyone that was interested ~ especially those that have
never been around horses and not just people with the ability to
pay. It's great in theory to simply fling open the proverbial barn
doors and invite everyone to come learn, but in reality (which is the
quickest way to ruin all your fun) that doesn't work at all. I was
going to have to figure out a way to go from being the unofficial
Leader of the Duct Tape and Band aid Brigade to Bonnie Businesswoman if
we were to even stand a chance...
Some hiccups along the way
Once I had a rough idea which direction we wanted
to pursue, I threw myself into research mode. My husband dragged me off
to a seminar to learn how to write grants (aha! now there's
an idea :o) I developed a business plan, began compiling demographics,
and contacted local groups to determine the level of interest
(essentially, everyone I talked to was ready to jump in the car and
come visit now-now-now). We set up a 4H group, and
started having meetings at a local community center. Things were
tooling along very nicely, and then I went for my first mammogram at
age 40: Stage 1c breast cancer threw the biggest monkey wrench I'd
never expected into my life. Everything came to screeching halt.
So where are we now?
Well I may not be running as fast as I was when I started this project, but we are moving forward. A rare autoimmune muscle disease called Dermatomyositis put a pretty good hitch in my giddyup (hate the hitch, but
that silly southerism always makes me smile :o) but I'm not stopping! We have been granted our 501c3 as
an official Non-Profit Organization, so now the real work has begun.
We are fine tuning details for our programs, practicing on friends and family every chance we get, and raising the funds necessary to realize our
dream (or at least its beginning).
Unsure about donating to a charity online? Please feel free to verify the legitimacy of our non-profit status at The IRS website or Guidestar (we're pretty darn cautious with our money too!)
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