Good bye to 2016, hello to 2017!
Let's start with an appreciation....
I always feel that the start of a new year is the best time to express the gratitude I feel all year round, and say thank you to all the wonderful folks who have helped Freedom Farm grow and reach out to so many horse people all over the world.
First, to our customers who believe in us and support us as we all grow in our horsemanship, service to our horses and the horse community. I want to give a big thank you for your patience, flexibility and effort as we work together, helping each other as we learn.
To the strong, kind, patient, dedicated support crew behind the scenes, who keep our horses fed, happy and safe... Nathan Schmidt, Lester Hardy, Dusty Ahrens, and Jeremy Soderstrom, I am so thankful for all your effort, and extra effort. Our horses thank you, our customers thank you, and I thank you. You guys are awesome!
To the people who are there for us in so many quiet, helpful ways every day, as we spend quality time with our horses on many levels. Jess Crouch, Hannah Crouch, Colton Crouch, Kathy Schmidt, Vanessa Di Benedetto. Your insight and patience is so appreciated.
I am so grateful for Kip Tulin and all his sidekicks, who bring smiles to so many of us with those extra special, creative fixes that keep popping up. Such a pleasure to have you with us, thank you.
Our Hoof Beats fundraising program is such a special part of the healthy growth of our students, and I am so grateful to John and Kimi Robertson, Ryan and Marsha Hickey, Jasmine Kettle, Matt and Agnieszka Niemeyer, for your imagination and hard work in developing this important program.
The Freedom Farm vision continues to grow in the area of multimedia: I want to thank Mary Tulin for endless hours giving my creativity life through social media. Also thanks to Angus McCullough for a beautiful new set of videos, and to Carolyn Guske for expertise in artistic design. You are all so very appreciated.
To my students, I am so very proud of you for being a team, supporting each other in your riding and horsemanship journey, and for pitching in when unexpected problems come up, thank you. You're the greatest.
For our beautiful gardens and flowers, Fred Voorhees, landscaping guru, you have given us a beautiful gift this past year. Thanks so much.
Last and most important for me personally, I thank my incredible husband Jerry Schmidt, who let my kite string go on Day One, supporting me in this horsemanship vision ever since. Thank you for your strength, endless hours of work, farming, construction and reconstruction, continuously improving your knowledge while helping everybody else improve as well, and most of all, your patience in keeping this dream alive and growing, you are amazing and thank you!
A final thank you to our Creator who has blessed us so abundantly. We are humbled and grateful to be of service to so many.
Coming up in 2017:
Let's look forward to new horsemanship and riding advancements, along with education opportunities continuing into 2017 at Freedom Farm:
- Completing the library has been my goal, but the greater vision was:
- People in the library making use of the amazing material we have collected over the years to upgrading their horsemanship knowledge;
- Jerry helping more people and horses by teaching us how to take better care of our horse's feet and teeth;
- Reviewing the lessons we video on our improved audio visual equipment;
- A private lecture area for clinicians to teach and critique riders;
- Upgrading our Wi-Fi so we can livestream important horsemanship events (okay, and have good reception for our smartphones!); and
- Horsemanship movie nights and sleep overs!
- To everyone that saw the vision and picked up a broom, hammer, box, brush, rag--you have made a difference in the quality of knowledge available to our horsemanship community, young and old.
Hoof Beats fundraising, a great idea that really grew in 2016.
At first when I thought of turning the Mini Beats (6 and under program) over to the Hoof Beats Team as a way of raising funds for their horsemanship education, I didn't realize how much everyone was going to benefit. The team brought special life and creativity to the Mini Beats events that made them even more fun for the 6 and under riders. Their ideas for mentoring our young riders this coming year (2017) will enhance everybody's horsemanship in a whole new way. Having the Team involved enhanced the horsemanship of both groups: the Minibeats riders related well to their helpers, and the Hoof Beats Team helpers became young mentors, advancing their own horsemanship understanding. Way to go Hoof Beats Team!
Spruce Meadows, a trip to inspire. Our Hoof Beats Team was so fortunate to see many Olympic riders last year with 11 nations represented at the Spruce Meadows Masters Event. It was our first year at this event and we enjoyed it so much that plans are in the works for a return visit in 2017. We are planning to travel by train with even more Freedom Farm students, young and adult. Let me know if you want to be a part of this inspiring horsemanship events.
Clinics with Laura Kemp, Dave Ellis, and Joe Wolter were well-attended and much appreciated. We are looking forward to their return in 2017.
In 2017 we are also looking forward to:
- Covering the open end of the arena;
- Shelters for the pens on the cow side of the property;
- More horsemanship weekends with Jerry's Hoof and Teeth classes;
- Jumping events;
- Hoof Beats horse games and sleepovers;
- Beach Camp;
- Clinics from top horsemen.
Yours in good health and horsemanship,
P.S. Please be sure to download and read our NEW RATE SHEET for 2017.