Today, I would like to post an open letter from Andrea Baldwin, founder of Connections Equine Therapy. If there was ever a cause, this is it!
Thank you for your loyalty and support. It has been a challenging yet rewarding year and we need your help to continue. It is very sad to see what our clients are going through with all the cutbacks which affect those who are living marginally to begin with.
Equine therapy may seem like a luxury item—but to riders like Caroline who loses her ability to walk if she doesn’t ride, or Donald whose riding helps him fight the effects of a lifetime in a wheelchair, or little Jesse who at 5 was unable to speak and is now talking, and last but not least, Miss Allie, a beautiful, fairy-like preteen who lived in her fantasy world with imaginary friends until she met our horse Asia who has coxed her into the real world—it’s not a luxury at all. Allie struggles socially at school, and we all know how hard teen years are, but can you imagine her experience? Here at Connections she is becoming a top rider and starting to ride independently. She stays very focused and her imaginary friends don’t come to sessions anymore. She is loved and cherished for her uniqueness and is doing something that builds her focus and self-esteem. We and her family have been anxiously awaiting her AIMS testing scores to see in writing if the changes that we’ve observed were translating to her academic work. Her family told us that, “Connections has helped Allie more than anything else they’ve ever tried.” And the AIMS results are in and Allie’s scores have soared! But she still needs our support to help her with social skills and continue in her academic progress.
I feel so blessed that you have stayed loyal to Connections and helped us to continue to serve these individuals and others. I feel blessed every week Asia gets the special senior feed he needs. I am grateful for every flake of hay I feed. I often look into big brown or blue eyes and see trust there that we still value their service and will continue to provide them with a secure home where they can do the work they love. Even the newest member of the team, little Minity “Mini,” has started helping others by putting such smiles on their faces. We have been amazed how she will go to clients and put her head on their shoulders and let them hug her—sometimes pretty roughly—it seems she already knows why she’s here and what she’s here for.
We are constantly being creative to be better stewards of your donations, and here are some things that you could do to help:
• If everyone who has an E-mail address would E-mail it to us, at firstname.lastname@example.org, we could cut our newsletter costs by E-mailing it to you. Be assured that E-mail addresses will be kept confidential and used only this purpose.
• Take a few minutes of your time and sign up for GoodSearch. Every time you do a search on the Internet, using GoodSearch, it creates revenue for the program.
• Sign up for eScrip, which gives Connections a percentage when you shop.
• For more information and directions on these last two bullets, please go to and click on “Donations” on the sidebar.
These are areas of long-term support for us in the future, but we need your help now. Many of you may not know that we have supplemented some of the Connections’ budget by providing services through our equine-assisted work to various organizations that pay for these services. Due to the economic downturn, we have lost these accounts.
We are now very excited to announce that we have been chosen to provide corporate team building experiences in our experiential program through referrals from Enchantment Resort in Sedona. Enchantment is an amazing place that received the World’s Best Award by Travel & Leisure in 2009. You can check them out at www.enchantmentresort.com. We have also been approached to provide services for a new rehab that will be opening soon.
Soooo there is light at the end of this tunnel, but we need your help to get there!
Happy Trails…and I can’t thank you enough again,