Covid-19 indefinitely postponed our children's programming and now we need your help to provide Hawthorne Valley's teaching horses, Daisy and Sierra with food, hoof and veterinary care until we can welcome students to our farm once again.
Meet Daisy and Sierra, Hawthorne Valley’s horses! Daisy and Sierra - Haflinger horses known amongst breed enthusiasts as "golden horses with golden hearts" - have been on the farm for nearly a decade, and are an essential part of our Place Based Learning Center’s children’s programming. Throughout a typical year, Daisy and Sierra work with hundreds of students visiting the farm for our in-school residential and summer camp programs, as well as from Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Children have the opportunity to practice horseback riding, and assist in all aspects of the horses’ care including grooming and feeding. For most children this is an entirely new experience that offers lessons in responsibility, partnership, courage, and trust as they work with another living creature so much bigger than themselves. Anyone who has visited our farm is familiar with Daisy and Sierra, and knows that their generous, gentle, and kind spirits make them invaluable teachers, providing a therapeutic benefit for children that is unique among other animals.
One child who comes to mind, I'll call her Sarah, had little self-control or self-confidence when she first came to work with the horses. Over time, it was remarkable to watch her gain mastery over her body, gain greater awareness of herself, and greater confidence as she cared for and worked with these beautiful animals much larger than she. Sarah was often nervous, easily over-stimulated. The peace and calm that would come over her while grooming the horses was beautiful to witness. She became one of my most responsible students, quick to notice what the horses needed and always ready to help. As her independence and skill grew in her abilities to handle the horses and to ride, her confidence blossomed, as did a sense of peace within herself.
- Emily Kozakiewicz, staff member and horse caretaker
Unfortunately, this has been a difficult year for the Place Based Learning Center– the Hawthorne Valley initiative responsible for Daisy and Sierra’s care. When the Covid 19 pandemic struck, the Place Based Learning Center team made the difficult decision to indefinitely postpone all programming in order to protect the health and safety of the visiting children. Although we’ve been able to further integrate Daisy and Sierra into Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School’s farm curriculum, without additional program tuition the cost of their care presents a significant burden to the Place Based Learning Center and its staff.
Please consider making a gift to help us provide food, hoof and veterinary care for Daisy and Sierra until next summer when we hope to once again invite children to come and learn on our farm. Thank you!