First Nature Notes: Spring- A Time of Change and Renewal
Dear Friends of First Nature Foundation,
Not that you’re waiting with baited breath for it each month, but I do like to get these newsletters out by the end of each month to report on happenings and developments. In March I stumbled with getting our newsletter out in time. For much of the month I was deeply involved in spending time with my beloved dog, Serafina, who had been ailing and was diagnosed early in March with an aggressive form of cancer that was already in 2 of her organs. Her pain and suffering suddenly became too much to bear and I let her go just 12 days after diagnosis at 7 ½ years old, way too early. She was my 5th flat-coated retriever, and also the 5th to die of some type of cancer. We were very close, deeply bonded, and highly attuned to one another. She was the last living link to my “life before”, meaning before I lost my husband and mom and 2 other “sister” dogs over the last 3 years. Godspeed, sweet Serafina. You are sorely missed.
The horses have been enjoying their new walled sheds and we will soon lay washable mats inside so we can keep the “floor” clean and prevent erosion and puddling. Our gardens are blooming beautifully, and we are about to harvest the second head broccoli (courtesy of our groundskeeper, Dylan) from our herb garden.
Program-wise we are 2/3 of the way through our first cohort of veterans for 2023 in Horse Wisdom for Heroes, and this weekend will start a new program called Horses Healing Hearts for a cohort of women from The Transition House’s Partial Hospitalization Program for women who have struggled with substance abuse. In a few days we will be hosting teens from Rebuild Yourself, another local nonprofit whose purpose is to ensure that no teen ever feels like they are alone and to provide teens with a true sense of belonging. And we are scheduled to offer a Pathways to Hope program for Help Now of Osceola County, a nonprofit that provides programming and shelter for survivors of domestic violence. The program is for kids who are sheltered to provide hope, connection, and positivity. We do these programs free of charge to the participants and the organizations, and we are looking to you, our friends, to help sponsor and support our work.
Riding lessons continue at the ranch! We are thrilled that this long-time goal is finally being realized. The lessons are not just about riding, but about enhancing leadership skills through riding and applying them to other life situations. Our fantastic Horse Psychology Specialist, Michelle Smith, is our instructor, and we have already had several riders have subsequent lessons and sign up for lesson packages. Stay tuned for and announcement about our next horsemanship clinic this month at the ranch for this spring, as well.
Another long-time goal is being realized: we are excited to relay that we have several impressive candidates for our First Nature Foundation Board of Directors, and are in the process of vetting and interviewing them. We will announce our new board members once we have ratified the votes at this month’s board meeting.
Folks are always impressed at the lessons our horses can impart. Whether it’s communication, self-awareness, team-building, using conflict productively, or other leadership skills, they are masters at helping our program participants grow those skills. Know any teams or organizations that might be interested in our Horseplay for Leaders programs? Or any groups or experts who might want to run a program or two (ours or their own) at the ranch? Please refer them to us. Our facility is also open to host events as long as there is some alignment with our mission. Please email us for availability and details: email@example.com.
We continue to offer tours, as it’s the best way to understand our vision and to see it in person, so please reach out to schedule one. Feel free to share my information with those you think might be interested: firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook to set up a time.
Stay healthy and take care!
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.”