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January 2023
First Nature Notes: Wintertime Fun

Dear Friends of First Nature Foundation,


We hope the year of 2023 has started off well. Winter at the ranch means feeding hay to the horses because the grass doesn’t grow much at all, and frost has killed some of what grass there is. To prevent overgrazing in our pastures, and to allow enough forage for our horses, we give them what is called “coastal” hay in their paddocks each day. And time and energy permitting, we have fun making hay designs as you can see in the photos below.


We are close to setting the date for the next cohort of veterans to start in our Horse Wisdom for Heroes program for next month. We also have a tentative early spring date with the Oscecola County Sheriff’s Office for a fundraiser at the ranch to begin programs for some of their staff.


Our programs are effective for our participants. Not only do we ask for and analyze feedback from each playshop we have given, but we have gathered statistical data on each of our Horse Wisdom for Heroes programs. The analysis of the Perceived Stress Scale and Resilience Assessments given to our Cohort 3 veterans at the start and end of the program showed that over the 6 sessions, on average, their perceived stress levels decreased by 24% and their sense of resilience increased by 27%...pretty amazing numbers for men who are facing some incredible obstacles!

As a nonprofit serving the local community, we are on the lookout for sponsors for our programs for more disadvantaged participants, so click here to learn more about sponsorship.


We hosted a fun and transformative horsemanship clinic this month at the ranch and had a full house; all the riders made amazing progress with their horses over the course of the day. Our fantastic Horse Psychology Specialist, Michelle Smith, was the clinician, and she covered core ground skills, transitioned to riding, and then had the rider practice these skills using obstacles. Check out the pictures below for a highlight! It was such a success that we are now scheduling the next clinic for later this spring.


But there’s even better news! Starting mid-February, Michelle will be giving horsemanship riding lessons every other Saturday! We highly recommend her to our clients and volunteers and would love for you to join us. More details will be available on our social media as time gets closer. So make sure to follow us on Facebook and Linked In!


Need to make some Valentine plans? We are over half full for our upcoming Wine & Dessert Tasting Fundraiser, scheduled for Friday February 10 from 7 to 9pm. Hurry and reserve your seats before we run out of room! Treat yourself and your special someone to an elegant night with us full of exclusive wines and scrumptious desserts. Get your tickets here

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We didn’t let the pandemic derail us but it definitely slowed our momentum in getting a full schedule of programs running. If you know of an organization, group, or entity that needs leadership development, especially the unique ways we do it here with horses, pass along this email! We are also happy to host events, from nature education classes to team building, we are happy to have you at the ranch! Please email us for availability and details: And see our full list of programs available by clicking the button below.


Stay healthy and enjoy the cooler weather before it gets blazing again!

Kerul and Crew





First Nature Ranch / First Nature Foundation  

“Where the past, present, and future of leadership come together for the dignity and benefit of all.” 

A big thank you to our sponsors! (1640 × 800 px) (1640 × 924 px)_edited.jpg
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