December 2020 News from RTT

Happy Holidays from all of us at RTT
Happy snowy day!!

As the holiday season approaches we send our best wishes to you our clients, client families and volunteers. We are so thankful that we have been able to operate, even in our limited capacity during the past six months and we look forward to brighter days (shall I say "more normal"?) in the new year. With the start of vaccine distribution here in Maine we dearly hope that we'll start to see some positive trends in Maine's COVID case rate and the ability to move forward with our re-opening plans. That being said, we remain vigilant in our mask wearing, physical distancing requirements and personal and facility hygiene until we not only see light at the end of the tunnel, but until we are out of the tunnel!!

The good news is that RTT has remained a healthy and safe place--with humans and horses all doing well.

As we look ahead to 2021, here are some of the things that we are looking forward to:

  • The start of the Winter Term will be 1/11/21--if you are a client and have not already confirmed with your instructor, please reach out to Kate; Volunteers please reach out to Nick with any updates for the new year. The Winter term will be 5 weeks long instead of our usual 6 weeks.
  • We continue to work with our colleagues in Colorado on planning for the start of a NIH funded research project on the physiological effects of therapeutic riding on children with Autism--we will do a feature on this research project in one of our upcoming newsletters.
  • We continue to search for ways to have meaningful outreach to clients who cannot be at the farm and are looking at ways to enhance the Zoom meetings that we've been doing with school groups so that perhaps we can meet with others in a similar fashion.
  • Most importantly, we look forward to moving into Phases V and VI of our reopening plan when it is safe to do so!

So as the winter solstice approaches we will look forward to celebrating the shortest day of one of the longest years we've all experienced! We look forward to lengthening daylight hours and a bright new year filled with promise and a renewed sense of hope.

As always, be well and all the best to you and yours for the holidays!
Thank you for your support on Giving Tuesday and some RTT gift ideas!!
On and offline, generous donors have contributed over $7,500 to date! That will buy more than 1,250 bales of hay for the RTT herd keeping them warm and cozy this winter!! Lucky and Orion, along with the rest of the herd say "thank you" to everyone who supported "Hay for the Herd" on Giving Tuesday!

If you're looking for other ways to support RTT, check out these gifts that give twice here!
Paxton has a Special Visitor at RTT!
Paxton had a very special visitor on Monday, December 7th when her former owner, Mary Jordan, came to the farm. Mary bred her horse, Nutmeg Brown Ale to a Hanoverian stallion (who was in The Black Stallion movie!) and Paxton was the result. Mary was the only person there when Paxton was born and the tie between the two of them remains strong 22 years later. (Below: Mary with Paxton and her mother, Nutmeg Brown Ale)
Their reunion was magical and emotional. Mary was able to watch Paxton in a lesson and she spent some time with Paxton grooming her and giving her lots of love! Mary also brought many photos of Paxton as a foal for us to copy and have at RTT. We are SO fortunate to share in the story of this special horse. 
Volunteer Learning--Winter Blankets!
Now that winter is upon us, volunteers will notice that some of the horses have blankets while others don't. Denise, our Barn Manager and Kristin, our Equine Manager work together to determine who needs blankets at at what temperatures! Our vet, Rachel Flaherty of Back Cove Equine also helps us in this process. We are posting these two videos (introduced by Halley Meaney, Kristin's daughter), as a reminder of the important sequence to follow when putting on or taking off a blanket!
Many things are taken into consideration in this process (age, in the horse in the barn or outside, how heavy a coat to they have and other weather related things like wind and precipitation). We have posted a listing of Blanketing guidelines by temperature and horse in the grooming area.

If you ever have a question about whether or not a horse should be blanketed, please an instructor or other RTT staff person and thanks for your help in keeping our horses comfortable this winter!!
RTT Connection Corner
Hello Fellow RTT parents and caregivers! Welcome to Winter! Now that there’s snow on the ground it really puts you in the holiday spirit doesn’t it? The holiday season always reminds me of baking and spending time with family. This month I thought I would share some fun Gingerbread activities to do at home. 

Feeling creative? How about making some homemade Gingerbread playdough. Here's the recipe--it's super easy and smells amazing!

Draw your own gingerbread man or woman by following this fun step by step video. It’s super simple but a lot of fun for all abilities!
Watch 2 different versions of Gingerbread Man story: The Gingerbread Man and The Gingerbread Cowboy. Talk about the differences and the similarities. There are many other versions of The Gingerbread fairytale out there. Do your own search and share your favorite version of the story with someone at home.

Have something to share? We would love to hear about some of your fun and creative ideas too! We would love to feature your idea in next months newsletter! Send along a video, picture or link to Kate.

Thanks again Morgan for sharing your ideas with the RTT Community!!
Keeping our horses fit
and our riders (and horses) thinking!!
Each month during our Volunteer Schooling Team Zoom meetings, Kristin, our Equine Manager shares new exercises for us to incorporate into our horses' exercise routines. This has been a fun way to keep riding and groundwork sessions different and engaging for both horse and rider, all while improving the horse’s strength and fitness. And we often use these exercises in our lessons as well.
This month we are working on a pole set-up called the labyrinth, which is a unique way to help the horses focus and improve their balance and flexibility. It not only helps the horse, but it also challenges the rider to work on eye and body position. Check out these videos of our participants riding through the labyrinth! Even big horses like Abby can be careful about their foot placement!
Stay Connected
Follow us on Social Media
If you don't already, follow us on social media to see herd and farm updates. Find us on Facebook , Instagram (@ridingtothetop), YouTube , and on our private RTT Participants and Volunteers group .

Send us an e-mail
We want to hear from you! Tell us what you want to see from us, or just send us a hello!

Keeping Track!
We have been packing these newsletters full of information and resources and wanted a way to keep track of it all. This document contains links to RTT Safe at Home Activities and Resources!
Shopping from home? Shop for RTT!
Choose RTT as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile, while you're shopping, pick out a few items on RTT's Wish List!
Riding To The Top |