Ironwood Maine Web Update

“We have almost forgotten how strange a thing it is that so huge and powerful and intelligent an animal as a horse should allow another, and far more feeble animal, to ride upon its back.” – Peter Gray

Upon arrival to campus this week, it was quickly noticeable that there were several residents who were in the midst of “struggle”.  Family weekend is now 2 weeks behind us and there is a little wearing off of the family euphoria that many of your sons/daughters experienced during their time of reconnection.  Perhaps this is part of human nature after all…we elect to coast in times of comfort, or when things come easily to us.  Many of our residents learned not long ago that despite the prior struggles back home, they are still loved and needed…to great relief.  For others, while this is obvious and known, there was the reckoning that issues still remain to be dealt with.  The post Family Weekend honeymoon is over and it’s time to get back to the important work ahead.

The Frye campus is very “orange” this week, as Ironwood has sent a reminder to pay attention to our campus standards.  Remain mindful of your actions, show your leadership qualities to others that you work alongside, demonstrate greater integrity in your day…GROW FORWARD.  Despite short term setbacks, I must say that the energy on this campus remains positive and accepting, perhaps representing the acknowledgement of accountability and ownership?

The Farmhouse campus is contemplative, with struggle also present.  The girl’s group has presented some discontent with one another, with some gossip and undermining taking precedence over cooperation and support.  We humans let our thoughts get the best of us sometimes and we create conflicts from our doubts…our fears…our insecurities.  Such has been the case this week and staff are bringing attention to all on how valuable face to face conversation can be to settle minds and fears.  Today, a conversation took place on the impact that this same group could experience if just a few would lead productive conversation based in the genuine desire to reconcile and move forward with authenticity.  “Yes we are flawed…all of us…how can we better help one another to gain strength in the group to complete our personal missions and return home to those we love?”  We are a team…residents, staff and family and we need to stay focused on what really matters.

The east coast has been soaked this week due to Hurricane Florence and even Ironwood received some fringe downpours on Tuesday evening.  We experienced some power loss and internet troubles but overall this property is holding steady.  The gardens are still producing, therapeutic groups are on schedule, school is “in session” each day and our ovens are producing some “pretty tasty” dinners.

And finally, this week we welcomed two new equines to our stable.  “Shanghaied” and “Hugh and Me” are two retired thoroughbred geldings who are on a short-term trial for compatibility to our stable, herd and riding program.  First impressions are positive and the Farmhouse residents are excited to have these new additions in our barn and pastures.  They are showing us that they are curious, friendly and always hungry for our pasture’s green grass!  Some Shanghaied trivia:  his sire (father), Big Drama (FL), was a champion sprinter who earned $2.7M in his career, highlighted by a first-place finish in The Breeders Cup Sprint, 2010, at Churchill Downs (see picture below):

With struggle, comes growth and there is plenty of struggle and growth on the Ironwood campus this week.  Thank you for placing your trust in Ironwood…have a great weekend and stay safe!

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