First Nature Notes
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Dear Friends of First Nature Foundation,
As I write this on March 22, yesterday was the vernal equinox, marking the formal entry into spring. Here in Central Florida, we’ve already had a few days of summer, with temperatures around 90 degrees…plus some extra heat index degrees. That’s the price we pay for living in a location that allows us to walk around in short sleeves most days in January and February. The Sand Hill Crane young are walking around with their parents and the Swallow-tailed Kites are back. The mowing season has started and the final two paintings that have been sitting on the floor of the second-floor barn “Gallery” are finally hung – it’s funny, that feels like a real milestone for some reason!
March has had many blessings at the ranch, including beginning to work with Michelle Smith, a wonderful horsewoman and an avid and active student of Linda Parelli’s. If you haven’t heard of Parelli Natural Horsemanship, it’s a “school” that promotes using the horse’s psychology to earn its trust, respect, and partnership. Linda Parelli has parted ways with her former husband and has started “Happy Horse, Happy Life” and I reached out to her to inquire about getting someone to help me make additional progress with my horses. Michelle has been coming for about a month now and the progress is amazing! Max is learning that he doesn’t have to be angry about grooming in his girth area, Buster learned to appreciate the clippers without fear, Goldi is in the process of learning more patience (!), and the other horses are also coming along in various ways. And we’ve started the process of introducing the 4 older members of our herd to the younger ones to see if it’s possible to pasture them all together.
We continue to offer our Horseplay for Leaders playshops. Our advanced module on emotional intelligence was well-received, with just about everyone giving feedback that there was nothing they didn’t like…except maybe they would have liked more time with the horses!
And we are about to host the second session of our Horse Wisdom for Heroes program for 8 veterans of The Transition House in Saint Cloud (photos below). In addition to the grant from Osceola County, we have our very first Leading Partner Sponsor, Buildings by Bill, the general contractor who built our barn! Those funds will cover all the costs for this first cohort in the program.
And we continue to offer our PASOS grief support group, which serves those who have lost a spouse or child to suicide.
Our Grand Opening, which had been scheduled for this month but was postponed (again!) has been rescheduled to April 2, from 5-7 pm. Reminder: it’s an invitation-only event so let me know if you’d like to be included on the list.
Do you know any groups or experts who might want to run a program or two or hold an event at the ranch now that we are starting to actually schedule them? We are willing to consider hosting events at the ranch, as long as there is some kind of alignment with our mission. I’d be happy to give you a private individual tour. Please contact me at email@example.com or instant message me on Facebook to set up a time.
Take care and stay healthy!
Kerul and crew