I have edited the title and amount needed to raise. With careful planning for the next couple of months, the remaining money raised here will help us finish our basic setup on our new farm in Maine. The good news (excellent news) is that we own the land and can now do what we do permanently.
Please remember that the core of our mission is always the same; we are committed to taking good care of the retired, disabled and once-homeless workhorses in our care. Thank you, friends, all of this is possible because of your support, materially and spiritually. We successfully taught ten students with your help and hoped to introduce many more, seeking these skills to help care for the earth, whether in the garden or the forests.
Do you love draft horses and want to be a part of taking good care of them ...
.while offering a unique opportunity to the community...to learn the skills to keep them alongside us?
WE NEED YOU!
We offer a 12wk comprehensive program that is run for 2 days a week and costs $2500 for each individual. We want to offer 10-20 students for 2022 the opportunity to learn how to drive horses!
At this time (October-November 2022), we have already taught seven individuals on Alderman Farm, with three still learning.
Due to economic hardships and the effect of the COVID social setbacks that so many have had, we want to help find support/sponsors for those who would like to take this time to learn these valuable skills. We know there is a growing desire among many in our community to learn these skills, with very few options and places to learn.
For several years this course was offered at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts and successfully graduated dozens of students, many of whom used their skills on other farms and in creating their horse-powered organic farms. Others have used their skills in National Parks as tour guides driving singles and teams.
If you are interested in a sponsorship for learning these skills, please send us a note, and we will send you an application at [email redacted]ine
This course is designed to enlighten and inspire our students to see the opportunities driving draft horses can bring.
In this course, you learn about proper draft horse care, improve horse handling skills, and focus on a holistic approach to equine management. In addition, our students learn how to harness and drive a single horse or a team and how to hitch and unhitch with an emphasis on SAFETY! This course teaches our students valuable skills for working with the draft horse in the human and natural world.
This intensive, hands-on course requires dedication, hard work, willingness, awareness, communication, and compassion. Our students improve their equine and interpersonal communication skills, developing an intimate bond with the horses and each other as they expand their knowledge together in a unique, interdisciplinary and collaborative way.
By slowly introducing new material and building a solid foundation first, our students become well-prepared to adapt to new situations and have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of working in partnership with draft horses.
We touch everything draft-horse-related. This includes their care, feed, veterinary requirements, behavior training, harness care and the fundamentals of harnessing and driving these horses. We also discuss in depth the historical accomplishments and cultural contributions of these horses in the pre and post-industrial building of our country. We explore the emotional benefits of working in partnership with a draft animal as well as re-introducing REAL horse-power into sustainable agricultural practices and creating new uses in our urban communities.
The economic and ecological challenges facing tomorrow's farmers and horse owners are numerous and overwhelming, but working horses are a way forward. Small farmers not only avoid using fossil-fuel-powered heavy equipment, which helps them market their organic produce as unique eco-friendly horse-powered produce, but it also saves them money in the outlay on a very expensive tractor.
Additionally, horse-powered farms generate more demand and homes for working horses. Supporting working horses and their people builds community and keeps alive precious and time-proven skills for taking good care of what we love!
By supporting this course in helping others learn these valuable skills, you are also helping keep an exceptional herd of retired, disabled and homeless, working horses.