Touchstone Farm has been successfully launched! It is with great pleasure and pride that we bring you this extensive website detailing all of the exciting, creative and FUN things that are happening here at Touchstone Farm. We hope you will explore around our site and find something that will truly make your New Year bright and exciting. You will be most welcome to join us for one or many events that are planning for 2011 and beyond.
We are pleased to announce that Touchstone Farm is a not for profit with Internal Revenue Service 501(c)3 status.. With immense help from our generous Donors and valiant Transition Team, Touchstone is thriving! Pony Farm, Horse Power, and Stepping Stone Lodge have ceased to be their own separate businesses, and are reorganized as Touchstone Farm, making one happy family on the farm. We are most excited to have our business streamlined and simplified. We are also delighted in the near future to be able to offer scholarships throughout the different programs. Equally exciting is that we will be able to accept donations that are tax deductible to support everything from programs to horses and their care, to farm animals and gardens. With an expanded and all-encompassing mission, the farm will be able to thrive long into the future, making lives better for the many people who find our farm gates.
Thus, in a nutshell, Touchstone is a blending of three organizations which have been operating on this same farm for the last 40 years. These three organizations are Pony Farm, Stepping Stone Lodge and Horse Power.
We are quick to let our friends and neighbors know that on the face of the farm, nothing has really changed. Pony Farm will still offer its specialty summer riding camp for girls and specialty weekends throughout the year. Stepping Stone Lodge will still be the site for these specialty weekends, clinics, workshops and community events galore. Horse Power will continue to offer its full range of classes for those with special needs. It will also continue its clinics, workshops and certifications so that more people can enter the professional field of therapeutic horsemanship. Finally, the Horse Power Instructor Training School will continue to offer its intense three month professional course of study for those wishing to become nationally certified as therapeutic horsemanship instructors. None of this will change except we hope to be able to offer more scholarships in the future as the fundraising expands and the streamlining helps reduce expenses….so watch for exciting news on this front.
Three things will change however as we introduce Touchstone Farm. One is that the riding and carriage driving lesson program for both children and adults will now be called Touchstone Riding and Driving Program, rather than called Pony Farm Lesson Program. We feel strongly that adults do not want to ride at a place called Pony Farm. Touchstone will offer the lesson program year around.
The other key change will be that we will return to our series of Touchstone Farm Horse Shows and Driving Competitions. These shows and clinics will be run on a regular basis here at the farm. In addition, our riders and drivers will be offered the opportunity to go to away horse events and competitions. To prepare for these higher level of competitions, Touchstone Farm will also offer a series of clinics for our riders and drivers.
The last important change to note is that Touchstone Farm is now able to accept donated horses for all of our programs. Prior to the coming of Touchstone, only horses suitable for Horse Power were able to be accepted for a tax deduction. We are pleased to say that we are able to accept a much broader range of horses and ponies now that Touchstone is a not for profit. Please do refer to our Equine Selection, Screening and Acceptance Process link in this website.
One final note is that we look forward to eventually launching a Capital Campaign within the next five years to purchase the entire farm so that Touchstone will go on long into the future. This move toward succession planning and sustainability is everyone’s desire, most especially mine, as the Founder. I want to have this farm continue all of its good work long after I am no longer here.